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Promoting rapid sheltering of unsheltered & unprotected women.

On Finding Self-Reliance

I see you clinging to him,
a barnacle tied to a rocky shore
worried the sea of life will drown you away.
I wonder,
do you believe every promise he whispers in your ears?
Half-baked truths, soft, creamy, chewy, too sweet-
when you are too full,
they must make you sick to your stomach.
I wish I could tell you,
you are not made of sugar no matter how many times he will kiss your lips and neck.
You are not his life raft no matter his hands that clasp you
as if you are keeping him afloat.
You are not defined by him
heartbreak comes and stays a while,
But despite the months or 
years you spent together
you are a changing landscape and nothing is set in stone.
Memories of him will recede slowly like a glacier
and he will leave scars behind in your heart,
but what is uncovered behind is full of life.
I hope one day you will see your self-reliance
as I see yours.
In spite of the changing tides
you have always found a way to survive.
It wasn't the rocky shore

that has kept you through all the storms.
It was your own strength-
your lungs and not his
that kept you breathing

and keep you breathing every day.
He is nothing more than a tourist
here one day to call you beautiful,
gone the next,
and when he leaves
you will still be beautiful.

-to all of us who are still learning to love ourselves best.


(c)2018 Jireh Deng

She pushes you against the wall
after school in a hidden hallway
pushing her lips to yours like you are the air she breathes.
Her kisses are innocent like forget-me-nots,
warm like breezy summer nights at the beach before a crackling fire.

She pushes you against the wall
after passing period
and instead of passion you taste possession.
Her lips trail the boundaries on your skin that mark you for her own
you wonder when your kisses become a show for the people watching.


She pushes you up against the wall
after your football game
she is too sweet like candy you have gorged yourself on..
Her touch caramel sticks to you, refusing to let go
despite your best efforts.

She pushes you up against the wall
after she finds you kissing someone else
her lips have become the mouth of a roaring dragon
and her words sear across your skin like fire.
All you feel is cold relief when she leaves you forever.

You used to watch her from afar
a trophy wife,

whose virgin lands you wanted to claim as yours.
But when you finally had what you wanted
there was nothing left to make you stay.

(c)2018 Jireh Deng



Shakespearean Anti-Love Sonnet

It is hardest to admit to ourselves,
That we are not always looking for love.
More than someone to fill up empty shelves,
An angel to rescue you from above,
You want someone who can say the right words.
But happiness should not be a person.
People may stay for a while but like birds
Leave with seasons, your pain only worsens.
But who can blame you for loving wrongly,
When they make the sun rise and fall for you.
Hide your affections in secret calmly.
When the storm passes, the wind never blew.
You could stand there and nobody would know,
All the passions held in your heart that flow.


(c)2018 Jireh Deng


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