Come See Me at Chesapeake College

For those of you in the Maryland area, I will be visiting Chesapeake College on April 16th for a Poetry Panel. Myself, along with two other local poets, will be taking part in numerous poetically themed events throughout the afternoon.

I will be presenting numerous pieces, including ones from my upcoming book, I Am. You can check out the trailer for that here.

I hope you can make it out to the college and meet me!

If you’d like more information, please contact me and I will answer your questions.

Left Behind

Gold_Chaika_Pocket_Watch_made_in_the_USSRYou have left behind a small bedroom, engulfed by the bulky hospital bed with its folding mattress and steely grey rails.

You have left behind an old red recliner, and I sit in it and remember that the wooden handle no longer works and the deep creak in its rock sounds like the background music to midnight conversations, whispered in the hushed stillness of a sleeping home.

You have left behind a closet full of blue dresses and a red cape, and I never would have known that your favorite color was pink, until you asked for a dress to be buried in and smiled when the rose colored sheath was unfurled from its bag, petals opening in front of a sunset.

You have left a trunk full of love letters and silk scarves and stories I was never old enough to ask you for, so that now I sit and wonder about the woman in the picture, legs propped up on the steps, her skirt sliding up to show off her slender calves.

I have days of work ahead of me, maneuvering the remnants of life from present to memory, and you have left your scent in the sheets, your powder on the bathroom sink, your gold pocket watch on the dresser, and me.

You have left behind me.


This has been a six sentence story. You can find out more about them and this week’s prompt, here.

More of You

The Prompt

A dream is a wish your heart makes” – Cinderella

What do you dream of? What are your hopes? What do you wish for?


wpid-ussv0xg0jxzu6txut2utz4dbgx9stemngrwvepx8_z56myg6gvwn_yigxs_flkla5fqwnkzs-gipsnzxicnwkndtgoo5fozeixoc7l_yksvcm2j6u83f6bfjjcdubrcw-epay1msrjiyjrtgifpvb7blxgvz-czuyvgw355-h414-nI have woken to the sunlight carving
a bright lace painting along your cheek,
dancing dust motes drift by your lips
and I hope for a few more moments in this place,
for more of you.

© Laura A. Lord 2015


You can join in the weekly prompt at the Miniature Writing Challenge, here.

The Top 19 Reasons I’m Not Writing Today

1. My son woke up at 4 am to be fed and so I’m still tired.

2. There’s laundry piled up high enough to be a safety hazard.

3. Half a pot of coffee isn’t enough.

4. My favorite pen ran out of ink.

5. I don’t have a typewriter like all the “real” writers use.

6. This round of Crossy Road isn’t going to play itself.

7. If I don’t get these pictures downloaded and sorted on Flickr, I’ll lose everything.

8. One. More. Tweet.

9. I’m just browsing Pinterest for recipes.

10. I’m hungry.

11. I think I lost my cat in the laundry room.

12. I’m bored with my room. I should move my furniture.

13. I’m tired.

Source: www.dumpaday.com
Source: http://www.dumpaday.com

14. I’ve spent the last five months speaking to a baby for the majority of my day and have forgotten basic grammar.

15. Lemon cupcakes. Someone has to make them. And eat them.

16. Children.

17. Periods.

18. Husbands.

19. I. Just. Don’t. Want. To.

To Watch Him Love

I went through a year of horrendous online dating before I met the man who became my husband. I wasn’t exactly a poster girl for the most eligible bachelorette, but none of my hold-ups were much excuse for the sort of men I met. I was 24 years old and a full time student. I worked part time, lived with my parents, was divorced, and had two children under the age of five. I’m not an unattractive woman, but men weren’t exactly beating down my door to date me. More so, I knew that I needed a companion, not just a boyfriend.

I couldn’t seem to even meet a normal, down to earth man. Things became enough of a joke around the house that my mother would sit up at night and wait for me to get home, collapse on her bed and giggle while sharing all the terrible details of my odd nights out.

There was the man who was allergic to everything. I gave him an innocent kiss after our date, forgetting that I had eaten a piece of chicken, and almost killed him.

Then there was the guy who asked me to hold his belt while in the mall so I wouldn’t get lost.

The man who took the menu out of my hand and ordered food for me like I was three.

The guy who took me to a movie and proceeded to move down to the front row where there was only one open seat to “see better,” leaving me alone.

The man who figured out where I worked and spent an hour walking around the store trying out different women’s lotions before finally admitting he was one of the men I had denied a date request from on an online site.

The guy who took me shopping and then proceeded to tell me how I should dress.

The gentleman who stripped naked in his parent’s living room while I used their restroom.

The dude who attempted to suffocate me on my parent’s couch.

By the time I got around to talking to Mak, I was pretty wary of dates. A whole year of these kinds of dates will do that to a woman. I had a whole safety set-up – complete with emergency friend phone calls lined up and pepper spray.

Mak invited me over for dinner. I had such a good time that I ended up coming home and looking him up on Google and the case search program to see if he had some shady criminal past hiding. There had to be something wrong, considering my past history with online dating. He had a speeding ticket. That was it. Needless to say, I was impressed.

The next morning we had a quick conversation.

“I’m not really interested in playing around,” he said. “I like you. Let’s make this serious.”

If any other man I’d gone on a date with had said that to me I’d have gone running for the hills.

“Okay,” I said.

I don’t know why. I’d hate to chalk it up to some sort of fate thing, but maybe part of me knew he wasn’t a psycho killer. Maybe there was some deeper connection. Maybe I was just really brave.

Within a few weeks he had met my children and included them in our outings.

541497_397525856932511_2036391058_nA few months later was Easter and I was scrawling ‘I love you’ onto an egg and hiding it in the fridge.

“Go get the orange egg out of the fridge,” I told him.

He got up and I heard the fridge door open. After a moment it closed again and he came back to the couch.

Silence.

“Well…” I started.

“Well what?” He asked.

“What did you think?” I asked. It was the first time I’d attempted to tell the man I loved him and he was being completely stubborn about the whole thing.

“It’s cute,” he said.

“And…” I lead him.

“I love you, too,” he said. “You know that.”

By the end of the year he had moved in. We were blessed in our relationship. There hadn’t been many of the big challenging moments. His father passed a few weeks before our wedding, but it was expected, and while we mourned it hadn’t surprised us. Their relationship had been so strained, for so long. It was the first time though that I ever saw him cry – a moment that I think is imprinted in my memory. There is something about seeing a strong man mourn, something heartbreaking and frightening and so real it hurts that one simply doesn’t forget it.

I remember standing by his father’s bed. He sat in a chair across the room from me. I went to him, but he didn’t reach for me. I stepped back – gave him space. I didn’t know how to handle his grief. He took a few moments to himself and I watched him. I watched the years, the pain, the neglect from that relationship wash away. For those few moments there was love.

There hadn’t been many of those bring-you-to-your-knees moments. We didn’t even really fight or argue. We were thankful to have found a companion in one another that shared a similar sense of humor. Laughter got us through any time things seemed to be getting dark.

He stepped into the role of father as if it were all he’d ever known. It was never a look-at-me exercise, but came naturally. There was a gaping hole in our little family25248_108453875839712_7044406_n and he saw it, stepped into it, and never looked back. It was in the quiet way he made that transition that still never fails to amaze me.

He has a silent strength in him. A code of ethics that can’t be argued or even discussed. They simply are.

Perhaps it’s because of his quiet nature that people find him intimidating. Combining that with the sleeves of tattoos and long dark hair, it’s quite understandable. However, anyone watching him drink tea from a tiny porcelain cup with my daughter would realize how wrong they are.

Four years after that first date and I was talking to my brother in California, planning his trip home to visit.

“When is he coming home?” Mak asked.

“The end of June,” I said.

“Good,” he said. “We’ll get married then.”

Proposal. Date set. End of discussion.

I had a month to get everything planned and ready.

I love you, too. You know that.

After our wedding we decided to have a baby. A few short months later and I was excitedly waving those little pink lines around in the air. We were so excited we told everyone.

We were at his mother’s for a belated Thanksgiving dinner when I started miscarrying. My husband had the kids in the car while I stood white knuckled on the phone with the emergency room and watched my father-in-law toss the kids’ toys into their book bags. Hours and many tests later the doctor gave us the news.

“There’s no heartbeat.”

I’d known when I saw her face. I’d been crying since she came into the room. I looked across the room at my husband. I expected him to get up, to come to me. The doctor left and he still sat there for a few moments. In that space between us I watched him break, hit his emotional knees, mourn, and grieve. I watched him as he cared for himself and then he came to me. He put himself behind and cared for me.

For the following days he held me while I cried and found whatever ways he could to make me smile. We found laughter in the darkest moments. We suffered. We healed.

We spent months talking back and forth about whether or not to try again. The entire process had frightened him so badly. I learned to appreciate what pregnancy can do to a man. It’s a terrifying situation, especially for one who tends to like to be in control of things. There is no control with pregnancy.

He couldn’t see what was happening inside my body.

He couldn’t control what was happening.

He couldn’t stop me from being in pain, from hurting.

All he could do was be there and hope that I would heal.

“I’m not sure we should try again,” Mak said.

We were lying in bed, the lights off and waiting for one or both of us to become too tired to keep talking.

481829_525481010803661_775093643_n“We’ve got a girl and a boy,” he started. “You know? Maybe that’s enough.”

“You don’t want one of your own?” I asked.

“They are my own,” he said.

A few nights later we were repeating this whole thing again. It was like a record skipping, playing backwards, flinging all over the place. I never knew where we’d end up.

“We could try again,” he said.

“We’re not doing anything to stop it from happening,” I answered.

“If it does, it does,” he’d agree.

Three months of this back and forth indecision plagued us.

Finally he said, “I don’t think we should try again.”

“I’m pregnant,” I said.

We collapsed against one another laughing. For weeks we were quiet. We were so careful not to tell people too early. We went to each appointment with our heart in our throats. Every test was a negative, dangerous thing. Every symptom I had was cause to worry. We struggled to find joy.

Mak kept warning me not to get my hopes up.

I kept countering that he needed to not think so negatively.

We flew past each other, both of us on separate ends of our own emotional roller-coasters.

“Are you happy about the baby?” I finally asked him.

“Of course,” he said. “You know that.”

I love you, too. You know that.

I am five months pregnant today. A few weeks ago we went to the doctor and we got to hear the heartbeat. The tiny whomp whomp whomp sound filled the room. I was942205_603602919658136_1585711832_n laid back on the bed watching my husband. He didn’t stand up and come to me. For a few moments, he sat there and smiled. I watched him in this moment of joy and excitement and relief. I watched him take that moment for himself and then he came to me.

He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work. He tells me he loves me before we fall asleep. He doesn’t have to say that he loves me. I know he does. All I need are those few moments, where there is space between us and I have the chance to really see my husband. It is in those moments that I get to watch him love.

The Telling

Last, but not least…Here is the reader’s choice from my latest book, The Telling.

Submissive

I like a dominant man in my life. I like someone who is in control. I like to think I’m in control, pretend it, brag about it, lie for it. I like that I know, that he knows, that I know I’m not really in control.

We don’t have to do anything, if you don’t want to.

The perfect line. The perfect pitch. He’s already made the decision, but poses it in such a way that I can make-believe it is mine. I like to take what doesn’t belong to me.

He’s a steamroller in my life and I like to be laid out flat. I like his hands on my chest, pushing me down whenever my back turns to the span of a bridge. His hands on my thighs, forcing me flat, flat, flat. Yes. Yes, I like that.

He makes me crow like a rooster and I want the world to know I’ve seen the sunlight. It’s like daybreak bursting to life inside me and for a split second I’m lit up brighter than a Christmas tree in Times Square. My body becomes a beacon, a calling card, a flash bang grenade and it draws more, more, more. I want a sunrise that keeps coming, up and down like a yo-yo on fire.

I like when everyone can hear my sunrise, my daybreak, my rooster call.

I’m vocal about it.

I’m in charge of it, or so I pretend.

Want it now? Click the picture to go to Amazon! AVAILABLE ON KINDLE!
Want it now? Click the picture to go to Amazon! AVAILABLE ON KINDLE!

We still have one day of the contest left! Get over to http://facebook.com/HistoryofaWoman and LIKE my page to be entered for a chance to win a copy of one of my books! Your choice!

History of a Woman

Like I started the other day, I am sharing the reader’s choice from my second book, History of a Woman. Enjoy!

The Check

The check came once a week and on it, in the tiny, informal script she could see the statistics. She saw the demographics, the signatures, the dates, the times, the dollar signs and the cents. The sense. Pay to the order of the single mother, the broken hearted, the lost and struggling. Pay to the order of that bitch who walked out, that gold-digger, that useless leech.

Twenty dollars and thirty-two cents. Thirty-six dollars and seventeen cents. That was the breakdown. That was division at work. That was the price tag, per child, per absent father, per paycheck, as order by the court.

So her son was worth $20. 32 a week. He was worth one pair of sneakers, plus tax. He was worth a family dinner from KFC. He was worth two Wal-Mart brand t-shirts and a pair of jeans with the little buttons inside to adjust the waist so they wouldn’t fall off his thin hips. He was worth one pack of the good brand of nighttime pull-ups and a fruity flavored Tummy Yummy.

$36.17. She was worth fifteen dollars and eighty-five cents more than her brother. And why was that? Because she is the older of the two? Because she came first? Because she was left behind first? That extra fifteen dollars and eighty-five cents makes her worth ice-cream at school for an entire month. She is worth two of those scarves from Target that she wants, because all the other little girls are wearing them. Thirty-six seventeen means she is worth one new dress and stockings to match. She’s worth a movie date with her mom and maybe, just maybe, she’s worth popcorn with extra butter.

She stares at the names and the dates and the amounts. She pulls out her calculator, because she’s logical, because she’s sane, because she knows there must be some algorithm in play that dictates the price attached to another human being’s name, date of birth, and social security number. Somewhere inside her children’s DNA is the bar code that is engraved with all this information. That’s why she couldn’t find it. That’s why the numbers never came out right.

One month is $81.28 and $144.68. That’s school supplies for both, new book-bags and lunch boxes, and for her daughter, that means she’s worth a new pair of dress shoes where her toes won’t hang over the edge.

One year makes them worth $975.36 and $1,736.16. He is four, so that means he’s worth $3,901.44. She’s six, so it’s $10,416.96. Right? That makes sense, she figured. I mean, by the time they are grown, their price-tags will be immense. They will be worth so much…so very, very much.

And that was the game. It was all a gamble. They had set the bet and she had called. Not only had she called, but she’d raised. She’d raised and raised and raised. She met each of their bets and doubled and tripled them. She’d paid in her part, and not only with money, but with her time. With her kisses, her late night wake-up calls, her trips to the family doctor, her white hairs, her once a month new toothbrushes, her story times.

So when those men would show back up, she’d be able to look them in the eye. She’d be able to say, “Hey, I figured it out.” She knew her child’s worth and she’d raised the bet. “It’s on you now. Call or fold.”

Want it now? Click the picture to go straight to Amazon! AVAILABLE ON KINDLE!
Want it now? Click the picture to go straight to Amazon! AVAILABLE ON KINDLE!

Remember the contest is still going on until December 15th! Visit http://facebook.com/HistoryofaWoman and LIKE my page for your chance to win a copy of one of my books! Your choice!

The Eyebrow of Doom

It may be hard to tell here, but you can almost see the Eyebrow of Doom.

I'm gonna sing the doom song! Doom da doomie da doom doom doomie.
I’m gonna sing the doom song! Doom da doomie da doom doom doomie.

Now, I get the raised eyebrow a lot. Normally it means one of three things:

1. I’m getting ready to get scolded. -In my best the husband voice-

The foot is down.

2. I did something stupid, which means the eyebrow raises only long enough for him to let me know I did something stupid. It’s like the warning shot before the laughter and endless teasing follows.

or 3. I was wrong.

I don’t like that last one.

See, I can handle when “the foot is down”, because this white chick and her lack of rhythm can pull off some fancy dance moves to get around that one. Hence why the daughter is getting the One Direction bed set she asked for…regardless of the many “foot downs” that took place.

And I can handle doing something stupid, because…it’s me. I’ve gotten used to that about myself.

I don’t like that last one. I don’t like to be wrong. I like it even less, because when I finally have to admit it the eyebrow goes up, as does the corner of the mouth in that little I-knew-it smirk, and I get the silent, twinkling of the eye that is the equivalent of some Greek grandmother wagging a finger in my face and yelling “I told you so!” It’s the cone of shame, dammit.

download (2)

So, when we went to Walmart and I see a lady standing at the end of the row where the cash registers are looking all friendly and helpful like the Walmart people do standing there when they have no costumers and are ready to wait on someone…

Me:   Oooh, look there’s a lady open down there.

The husband:   I think that’s self-checkout.

Me:   No it’s not. C’mon.  -To the Walmart lady.- Are you open?

Sorry Ma'am. This is self-checkout.
Sorry Ma’am. This is self-checkout.

Oh! And that’s AFTER he found the shirts that I swore they were sold out of, because I couldn’t find them anywhere, except I neglected to look in the main aisle where there were stacks of the neon horrors.

It's more for safety than style...I mean, he works in the dark with big dangerous machines. Give him a break.
It’s more for safety than style…I mean, he works in the dark with big dangerous machines. Give him a break.

Or when we argued the whole way home about this video for Adrenalize by In This Moment. We both might have a bit of a girl crush on the lead singer…

But who wouldn't? She's total girl crush material.
But who wouldn’t? She’s total girl crush material.

And so I swore that in the beginning of the video she was walking out in her nurse outfit with a rabbit mask on. He said no, it was some almost faceless, nude colored mask.

We argued.

I pulled up the video on my phone, but the screen is so small (not small enough that I couldn’t tell it wasn’t a rabbit mask, but small enough that I shoved it back into my pocket and thought to delay until we got home)…

So he pulled it up on his bigger, fancier phone.

Yeah. But there are rabbit masks…later in that video. If you watch the whole thing.

Just saying.

And then tonight happened. You see, while we were at Walmart I grabbed The Dark Knight out of a $5 bin thinking the kids would love to see it. It’s Batman. Of course they’d love it.

The husband:   That’s a little old for them.

Me:   It’s Batman! It’s fine.

The husband:   It’s violent, and the Joker is a little intense in that one.

Me:   Oh, pfft. They’ll be fine.

The Dark Knight came on TV today, and so I let the son sit down and watch it with me.

The son:  The Joker is killing a lot of people.

Me:   Yeah…-Uneasy-

The son:   He said son of a… 

Which is when I slapped a hand over his mouth, shook my head no repeatedly, and turned on SpongeBob.

I forgot how scary that guy was.

And then my mother…my traitorous mother (I say that with love and affection) TOLD THE HUSBAND about the Batman catastrophe…

I had to do it.

I had to put on the cone of shame.

Me:   You were right.

The husband:   Oh yeah?

-Insert Eyebrow of Doom here-

Wake Up a Woman

I recently asked some of my readers what their favorite story or poem was from each of my books. After figuring out which was the most popular, I decided to post that choice here.

But that’s not all, because that would be relatively boring.

Not really…but this part is more exciting!

I’m doing another contest!

CONTEST CONTEST CONTEST

Yep. You could win a copy of one of my books…I’ll even let you choose. All you have to do is find me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/HistoryofaWoman) and LIKE my page. Yep. That’s it. I’ll gather all the new names and on December 15th will draw a winner. That’s only a few days! So get on Facebook and click that Like button!

Now, for the reader’s choice from my first book, Wake Up a Woman:

This is an Uprising

I need your attention

for just a moment,

a minute,

an ounce of your time

and you better give it

’cause I’ll only say this once.

I need you to know

that I’m okay.

I’m alright.

I’ve settled my accounts

and I know who I am,

and I’ve accepted that.

I have a firm grip

on my identity,

and what you think of me

is just as true

as what I think of me,

and that’s alright.

You hear me?

It’s alright,

’cause I can handle

the way you describe me to your mother.

I’m an artist,

a student,

a tutor,

a writer.

I actually read for fun.

I’m a Goddess of the Household Duties:

the Queen of the Laundry,

the Ruler of the Dishes,

I can make bread,

fry bacon,

boil eggs,

and bake a cake,

all the while

showing my dominance

over the hills of coffee grounds.

And I’m alright

with the way you talk about me

to all your friends.

“She’s a freak in bed,

got an amazing ass,

and gives the best head.

Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like my,

my sweet,

my baby,

my doll,

my love?”

And all those other sweet,

choke-on-the-sugar

words you spill in my ear at night.

I’m a “cunt,

a bitch,

a whore,

and a slut,”

whenever you’re pissed,

and that’s alright.

I’ll be that,

as long as you get to be

a “douchebag,

an asshole,

a dickhead,

and a bastard.”

I’m the Master of Imagination

and I make one hell of a Mother.

So, you promise your own

a herd of screaming,

wailing,

red-faced babies,

and that’s alright

’cause I’ve done it before and

I’ll do it again.

Ain’t nothing to it!

I’m a taxi driver,

a short order cook,

a night owl,

an instant human,

just add coffee,

an amazing

baby-making machine.

I’m a cow with a pump

hooked to my chest

and I’m feeding the world.

I’m a woman,

a daughter,

a sister,

a mother.

I’m a friend,

and enemy,

a lover,

an ex –

I’m a woman,

so at times

I’m PMS personified.

I’ve got every limb I need

to kick your ass

and might just have

the strength to do it!

I have been stepped on,

stepped around,

and I’m stepping it up.

I’ve been trampled,

I’ve been beaten,

bruised,

and scarred.

I’ve been raped

and forced,

pushed

and pulled.

I’ve fallen down

and got back up.

Sometimes, I just laid there

and took it.

I’m weak and frail,

but I’m not porcelain.

I’m girly in ribbons and bows,

but I got a pair of nuts

to make Chuck Norris jealous.

Are you listening to me?

I’m telling you I’m alright.

I’m okay.

I can look in the mirror

and know every day

just who I am

and who you think I am,

and that’s alright too.

I am unknown,

uncaring,

unaffected,

unemotional,

and in charge.

I’m the leader of this pack,

the glue that holds the family together,

and I’m only out in the open

screaming at the top of my lungs

when it gets to be too much,

too often.

I don’t drink

’cause I’ve got a low tolerance

and one of them would have me

on a tabletop somewhere,

losing clothes

like I’m losing hair.

I dance like a white chick,

all elbows and knees.

I sing like a wounded cat

and play drums on my steering wheel.

I’m a woman so I can’t drive,

can’t parallel park

and can’t reverse.

I’m run into

and away from

and around

mailboxes,

ditches,

people,

responsibilities.

I like language

and can’t master my own,

but I’m a true professional

at the Art of Sarcasm.

I say, “I’m fine”

when I’m not,

and “nothing’s wrong”

when everything is.

And “whatever” is the equivalent

to a nuclear warhead

landing on your face.

Do you understand me?

‘Cause I’m a woman

and I want you to listen

as much as I want to talk.

I’m me.

I’m alright with that.

I’m okay.

I’m stoic.

I can look in the mirror

and I know who I am.

I’ve been stabbed

and poked

a million times

by needles of every shape

and size.

I treat my body like a canvas

and here I am,

a work of art.

I dye my hair

like I change my underwear.

So you can take

a new girlfriend to bed,

red,

brown,

blonde,

black,

blue,

purple.

Doesn’t matter,

I’ll be what you want.

It’s amazing

what a little

Revlon,

Maybelline,

L’Oreal,

Vicadin,

Exlax,

cocktail can do to a woman.

I am Cosmo,

Maxim,

Playboy,

and Good Housekeeping.

I wear skinny jeans

on my fat days.

I wear pantyhose

to streamline

a beeline

straight to my boobs.

I wear a bra

’cause some man said I should,

even though

I got nothing to put in it.

So I’m thankful for Victoria

and her Secret

gave me something to expose.

I’m a model,

a calendar girl,

a rockstar,

in my mirror with a hairbrush

and I’m belting out the tunes

of punk rock,

oldies,

metal,

and the classics.

I’m a country girl

with an affinity

for hip-hop.

I am tuneless,

tasteless,

careless,

and passionate.

Are you still here?

Hang on,

’cause I’ve only just begun.

I’ve just got going,

just got started,

and I’m not there yet.

I’m equipped with high tech

plug-ins.

I’ve got a vagina,

a pussy,

a cunt,

a hole,

and it’s been stabbed,

and poked,

prodded,

and stretched.

It’s bled,

and pushed out life.

I’ve got an attraction

and you can’t deny it.

It’s dress and silk in the day,

and leather and lace at night,

And I don’t get it,

I’m confused,

but I roll with it.

‘Cause you want it,

and I can handle it.

I do.

I’ve seen myself do it.

I am uptight,

upbeat,

upchucking,

and this is an uprising.

This is an acceptance,

of who I am,

and who you make me.

And that’s alright.

It’s okay.

I’m telling you I can handle it.

I’m allowing,

alluring,

and an illusion.

I am me.

I am woman.

And I’m alright.

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