Molly Yates

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Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art at the Hunter Museum through January 8th

Positive Thoughts
a personal response to a collection by Alexi Torres

I plead with the Rain to
Wait ’til I can fantasize
Of puddles and drops against windows
Without, but within the storm is
My demise, beating me into thin lines
Of my own “positive thoughts,”
Beyond what watching knows.

I plead for more, well-knowing
That I’m watching through blurred glass,
But living leads me sideways
To the Rain of my storm’s fast.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art at the Hunter Museum through January 8th

She pleads in spreading petals
To feed another’s hunger
By forced smiles pressed in sand.
While the storm may seem a beauty
Glimpsed beyond the breath and beat;
The unknown is hidden, shadowed
From the self through outward Giving.

When she pleads, I am firm, shaking
Her hands in counting feathers
And collecting bones until
Shards press me into crumble.

She pleads my changing focus,
Spits mocking “positive thoughts;”
Glimpses Offerings to my heart,
I hold her at arm’s length,
Ready to relapse the Rain
If smothered trembled love breaks
Ambivalence to discomfort.

She pleads in scorching screams,
Banging, clanging, scarring
Red cuts against my wrists
But I shake the cuffs with fists.

I plead against her cuffs
To let go of my hands;
I’m inhaling “positive thoughts”
If she lets my bones go free,
I would manage cooling breaths
To Nourish agony.
Alas, she’s screaming: loud protests.

But, I plead with her havoc
To let me eat in peace
To let me live outside the glass
To let me smile within at last.

She pleads with my discomfort,
Wraps her tentacles
‘Round my waist, deteriorating
My breathe, my move, my speak.
I wait to throw up
My arms, to relinquish her name,
But she whispers hissings in my ear.

She pleads to keep me now, and
Offers feather floating—me
As small as I imagine, but “positive thoughts”
Present now, and Acceptance holds her key.

I plead with her remainder,
And she knows I’ll win our war;
I see myself as being
A beauty not a thorn.
I hold myself in Feeling,
Hugging love within can hold,
Dancing smiles in twirled rewards.

I push a plead against her nagging,
And I’ll finally let her go.
Rebirth, I soul subsistence
And now she’s standing still.

I plead with eyes wide open,
Knowing echoes as I breathe,
Knowing images as I make them,
And my strength’s what I believe;
White fire will not burn me,
Won’t leave scars along my rest.
White fire will not burn me,
So I plead not for freedom,
Pulsing Present in my hands.

I’m immune to her white scorchings,
Freed from binding glass-shard bands.

She pleads not with my choices,
And I lift my head to skies.
The Rain is gone now so I listen
To Acceptance through my mind.
Her Wind may blow my feathers,
But my feet are firm on ground.

I plead now for tomorrow
To Feel within and Present.
I plead now for tomorrow,
Shaking storm or passion bound.
I plead now for tomorrow,
May the breath escaped be found.

Molly Yates is a junior at Decatur High School. 

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