By Nikki Giovanni

she didn’t like to think in abstracts
sadness happiness taking giving all abstracts
she much preferred waxing the furniture
cleaning the shelves putting the plates away
something concrete to put her hands on
a job well done in a specific time span

her eyes were two bright shiny six guns
already cocked
prepared to go off at a moment’s indiscretion
had she been a vietnam soldier or a mercenary
for Ian Smith all the children and dogs and goodly
portions of grand old trees would have been demolished

she had lived both long and completely enough
not to be chained to truth
she was not pretty
she had no objections to the lies
lies were better than the silence that abounded
nice comfortable lies like I need you
or Gosh you look pretty this morning
the lies that make the lie of life real
or lies that make real life liveable

she lived on the edge of an emotional abyss
or perhaps she lived in the well of a void
there were always things she wanted
like arms to hold her
eyes that understood
a friend to relax with
someone to touch
always someone to touch
her life was a puzzle broken
into a hundred thousand little pieces
she didn’t mind being emotionally disheveled
she was forever fascinated by putting the pieces
together though most times
the center was empty

she never slept well
there wasn’t a time
when sleep refreshed her
perhaps it could have
but there were always dreams
or nightmares
and mostly her own acknowledgement
that she was meant to be tired

she lived
because she didn’t know any better
she stayed alive
among the tired and lonely
not waiting always wanting
needing a good night’s rest

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