Marisela Brazfield

Urban Spring

April short but mighty
we have no peach flowers
only ads promising youth
Spring in the city
without much ado
we wait

Urban Summer

August heavy like old carpet
we have nothing to say
watching her burn in
metaphor of history
our skin dry like sand

Urban Winter

December mild like tea
lights on palm trees
snow on Hallmark cards
Christ on Broadway
no wisemen found
nights are longer
like our hunger 

One Good Man

When I ran, I would run to MacArthur Park. At the foot of Downtown split into two by Wilshire Boulevard. When I was a little girl, my grandfather used to take me to MacArthur Park. And after we were done walking around feeding ducks, he would take me to Langer’s for a pastrami sandwich on rye with a kosher pickle. We did not talk much. In between searching his pockets for our bus transfers back home, Opa would pause, smile at the sky, pull the transfers from his coat pocket, and cup my chin with his left hand comforting me.  

Kitchen Table

Chipped China cup with rubbed-off pale pink, lilac rosettes, and red hearts. Thin, tender green leaves on stems support the bouquet. Inside black coffee with molasses, lukewarm on the edge of cold. I relished flipping radio stations while blanking out my mind. Looking for a message from the great beyond, periodically a cricket or bird chirp would break the spell. Mattresses on sale, car insurance, KPFK Patty Hearst soundbites. The hardened rye toast on the table smelled familiar and a thick sadness overwhelmed me. No tears from downcast eyes. In the soul an increasing yearning for my mother’s voice.

~~~

Born and raised in Los Angeles, mb writes about the downtown urban life experience. Inspired by personal events, mental illness, and working with vulnerable communities. mb has been published by Indie Blu(e) Publishing, 2020 and 2021; The Short of It, 2020; Newington Blue Press, 2021; Prolific Pulse Press, 2021. Marisela’s piece, Fulfillment, featured in the first anthology – was selected for the Pushcart Prize.

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The Competition Is Over

Redux

I want to thank my friend Chuck for reblogging some of my much earlier thoughts from my old blog – PhiloSusi. This piece from 2015 highlighted how far I’ve come since those years of my childhood but also what followed in the lessons I learned. I’m glad I went back and reread it. It reminds me how much my world has gotten better. With slight revisions, I hope you enjoy it.

~~~

When I look in the mirror now, I see the beauty within and on the surface of the creation, which was initially out of my hands.

It wasn’t always that way.

“You’re so fat.”
“Can’t you be smarter?”
“Just stop, I’ll do it. You’re doing it wrong!”
“You’re not good enough!”
“Why can’t you do better?”
“Only angry people are crazy!”
“No one will want to date you.”
“You’re so stupid!”
“Can’t you do anything right?”

The words were repeated often enough and fell easily into my psyche, stuck there for a long time.

I never realized when I was younger it was a sick and twisted game initiated by someone who was supposed to just love me. I didn’t know how to maneuver a win against someone I looked up to. The person who made me feel low and afraid to achieve had an agenda which my tender years didn’t understand. I was competition, which elevated her every time she uttered one of those statements. She, being the winner every time. Me, the loser.

Or so I thought.

Today I’m filled with confidence in my being, a fierce determination to exist exactly the way I want to be, have an appreciation for myself that was non-existent before, and hold the firm position that I am just right. My body image was extremely poor, and to this day, I don’t think I see what others do, but I’m probably three-quarters of the way there to loving my body exactly as it is.

I don’t need to compete with the ghost anymore. Who I am and how I look was already winning.

Wounds

Redux

Revised from the original posted on I Write Her:

deep scars embedded in our psyche
we were marred by loved ones we should call traitors

we feel the need to hide the frayed nerve endings deep inside
the repeated shocks to our system and sensibilities can make us mute

but let’s not go quietly

our enemies expect silence from us
but we deserve better than remaining restrained

not screaming to the rafters calling out their crimes
buys them a better life than they are due

the one we were owed

be strong, be loud, and let your wounds heal

Perpetual Pain

Inspired by Reena’s Exploration Challenge #190 – Insanity
&
Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Unforgotten

no one told me
the days of mourning
linger for years

those unforgotten bring us
more bitter than sweet memories
unexpectedly and forcefully

it rises up within us
tears well and overflow incessantly
this insanity of grief, tortuous

when you love hard
you hurt more
death really kills two people


Frozen

she was incapable
of doing what was right
wasn’t moved
to undo the damage her actions left behind

no remorse
no empathy
no compassion
no connection

narcissists can’t be what we need
nor do what we deserve
nor heal themselves enough
to give us a desired remedy

it’s like time stood still
in the formation of their soul
solid and impenetrable
never truly warming to us

Friends And Family

Picking the closest one is like choosing a favorite. Now, that might hurt feelings, and I don’t want to do that. Plus, I really can’t say I have just one, nor are they all blood relatives! I consider my real friends family.

I will feel close to people and open up to them when I know they accept and love me and allow me the space to be myself. The friends and family who feel the closest to me are those who can let me be just who I need to be at any given moment. Those relationships where I can let my guard down and feel safe. It’s been a process, literally years, to understand what I needed and get to this point of surrounding myself primarily with those who respected my thinking.

So that’s me, in a nutshell! 🙂

Richer

Inspired by Sadje’s Sunday Poser #3 & The Sunday Whirl #483

with wind prodding me towards home
tender reminders and gratitude 
fill my essence as

feed on the love shown me 
no frill or pomp and circumstance
nor silver spoon of connections born 

my friends, my tribe
they flow alongside my road traveled
no words mince, no hearts break

i transfer a kiss to my finger
with a smile and gratitude, place it firmly
on the lips of my family