Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 4



This Is the Sky in Oakland

Maya Simone


7:08am
This is the sky in Oakland: dusty blue with pink bits if you squint and maybe smoke a hybrid. Clouds are crawling towards each other in a way that makes you believe there’s good stories being told up there too.

My back didn’t hurt because I started taking my meds again,
and my brain isn’t leaking because i started taking my other meds again.
I deleted the Postmates app and poached an egg
I got a therapist and a book about the moon
My therapist says to find out more about myself/what the fuck does that even mean
The author says to let go or be dragged/ i know exactly what that means


12:35pm
This is the sky in Oakland: bright and sharp and feels everlasting. Any premonition of chaos is in a stand still and you will play along just because you can.

The weight of my worlds has been shaved off at the sides a bit
My nails are long and my patience is longer
Red wine is still my friend but not my best friend
I am eating more fruits with seeds, swallowing one and wishing for at least a leaf
and I am calling my brother back every time/i am hearing him smile every time.


6:46pm
This is the sky in Oakland: Lavender dipped in peach dipped in blood. Just kidding about the last one, this is a happy poem.

My heart is round and ripe and if you wish--- Please Peel back the skin and be proud
For I have lost and I have learned from the sound of bending that breaks
and the stitch of sowing that heals.
Hold it with both hands and feel what it means to re-become
To have found a way back to yourself
I am asking you to be proud/ We did this!


Maya Simone: "I am black and queer and femme and a bunch of other things I don’t have a name for (yet). I love coffee and sugar and weed and The Great British Bake Off. I hate depression and zucchini and driving and white dreads. I am a Scorpio sun and moon, so I spend most of my free time being sad and plotting revenge."




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