Poem 119 ± October 1, 2015

JP Howard
What to Say to a Friend Who Wants to Give Up

Say I love you, even when you can’t love yourself.
Say please, please not today,
Say too much life unlived.
Say mirror, say beautiful,
Say this arm, take this arm,
Say grab, say hold, say let tears fall,
Say tears heal, Say forgive your mama,
Say she did the best she could.
Say tomorrow, say sleep,
Say split second, split the seconds,
Say let the seconds turn into days,
Say today, Say tomorrow, Say sun.
Say warm, Say skin,
Say warm skin, say sunlight,
Say new day, Say breathe,
Say inhale, Say exhale.
Say not today baby girl,
Say so much life to live,
Say love, Say I love you.
Say hold on, hold on to love.

JP HowardJP Howard aka Juliet P. Howard is the author of the poetry collection SAY/MIRROR (The Operating System, 2015) and a chaplet, bury your love poems here (Belladonna Collaborative, 2015). JP curates and nurtures Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS), a NY forum offering women writers a venue to come together in a positive and supportive space. JP is Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, an alum of the VONA/Voices Writers Workshop, and a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow. She was a finalist in The Feminist Wire 2014 1st Poetry Contest.

A version of this poem appears in SAY/MIRROR.