Poem 211 ± January 1, 2016

Melanie YeYo Carter
When I’m Gone

The immortality of my youth has been gone
for a while now
It stepped out on me for a virtuous woman
and for a child who still believes in heroes
The Superman in me has played with kryptonite one too many times
This heart has been the casualty of Russian roulette one to many times
And it makes me wonder where my words will go when I die
Will they have a chance to tell my parents
I never wanted them to bury me?
That I never wanted “GONE TOO SOON” attached to my biography
Me dying prematurely wasn’t a part of my plan,
but this decision was made for me

Someone please, tell me where my words will go when I die
When my hands are no longer able to shape shift them
into shooting stars for a dying wish
When my mouth is forever silent and mics can only cry out for me
When my poems can no longer breathe
or exist on my lips
I’m sorry, but this is a story ending I have no control of

Please tell me
where will my words go when I die?
Will they be able to comfort those brave enough to love me?
All expiration date and time bomb ticking
All memories and shadows
It was so unfair to let them love me
knowing, one day, I’ll have to leave
And I know everybody leaves
And I know everybody dies…
Just not like this
I find it hard to look at myself in the mirror some days
It’s difficult not to see the poison beneath this skin
I feel so trapped
Unable to walk away from a relationship I never wanted to be in
There is no love in this touch
Only death by the pound and it’s so heavy

I remember the first time I told you about my curse
I remember holding my breath, steeling my ego and covering my heart
for the rejection
But you saw something in me beyond what’s in me
So that is the answer to your question
That’s part of why I love you like hip hop and poetry

Sometimes, I feel so awkward when I say
“I will love you forever” or
“I will love you for the rest of my life”
I…I feel like I’m lying
I hope I’m not the last person you fall into
I hope your diving board heart is still available once I’m gone
and you can drown in love again

Please forgive me
I know this is so heavy but I have to get it out
while I still have the chance

Where will my words go when I die?
Will they die with me?
Or find a way to your chest and ribcage
so they can rock you into life on those rough days
How will I show you my life story is your life story if I’m muted?
How will I stand strong in your spine when you need me most
if my heart stops beating?

It’s going on five years, and I’m afraid
I guess that’s the running joke between myself and God
For years, I secretly didn’t want to live
And now, I openly don’t want to die
But I’ve learned we don’t always get what we want
I watch my life change after every needle stick
A white blood cell count the devil has attached himself to
And I hate this skin some days
this blood
this body
for being so mortal
And I know everybody leaves
And I know everybody dies
But not like this love

Not like this

Melanie YeYo CarterMelanie YeYo Carter is a poet who became a spoken word artist one night in 2006 when, while stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA, she stepped onto the stage at a little restaurant called Mary Helen’s. By the time she walked away from the mic, YeYo had been born. By 2010, with the support of revolutionary poet and publisher Tichaona Chinyelu, YeYo published her first poetry collection, When Light Breaks Through (Whirlwind Publishing, 2010). Since then, Melanie YeYo Carter has become known for her raw and dynamic presence sharing the stage with the likes of  Tameka “Georgia Me” Harper, Red Storm, Ed Mabrey, heRO44, ThirdRail, Hope Flows and many others. Melanie is also active as an HIV/AIDS advocate.