Untitled by Nyla Adele

I know how it feels.
And by “it”, I think we all know what I mean.

I know how it feels to have “I love you” become the prize at the end of the marathon where the finish line always moves.
And moves.
And moves.

I know how it feels for an embrace to suffocate more than it soothes.

For affection to be rationed like wartime.
For a kiss to be a carrot on a string.

I know the feeling of the good days.
The days where everything is like it was like before.
The days where your world is everything it should be

Or at least everything you pretended it is.

The good days convince you the bad days are worth it.
The bad days become currency.
The good days become that thing you save up for.
That thing you need so bad that you borrow too much and go into debt.
Fold yourself into 16ths for it.
Skip meals to make space for it.

I know that familiar sting,
that tender stabbing,
that euphoric ache.

How can one person be both assailant and doctor?
What does it mean for the only savior you’ve ever known to become the thing you fear the most?
But that’s what they say, right?
We fear God and that means we love Him, right?
I know the feeling of sticking yourself, hoping to achieve stigmata. Hoping to be good enough, pure enough, divine enough.

But I also know that feeling of the other side.
when the dust settles.
The feeling when the bruises go from black to blue to yellow and finally brown again.

The feeling of piecing together a heart cracked open.
The feeling of your first real deep breath after your forever has fallen away.

There comes a time when you realize that the good days are free, and that scarcity is a myth.
You can have as many as your arms can hold, and you deserve 100 times more.

Nyla Sampson (she/her) is a Black, Queer theatre artist, writer, singer, and community organizer advocating race, gender, and food justice through a radical Black feminist lens. She a member in core leadership of the NYC Chapter of BYP100, the co-facilitator and financial advisor of The Okra Project, and the Founding Artistic Director of The Black Box Project. Follow Nyla on Instagram and Twitter @NylaTheMusical to learn more! 

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