Last Day by Cortney Joseph

No one, and I do mean no one, has felt or understood or come to know pain the way I have. It thrives when I’m at my highest, sitting back, waiting to drag me down to the pits of sorrow and depression; waiting to laugh and taunt, show me that I have been and will always be a nothing and a nobody in this world. Read More

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The 25th (Part 6 of 6) by Cortney Joseph

I took a deep breath, preparing myself to cry. The way I do every year, but something different happened. I laid there all the way until it got to the part of the song where Ice Cube began running off crimes that white people commit but blame black folks for, and nothing happened. No tears, no sense of heaviness, no sense of failure. Read More

The 25th (Part 5 of 6) by Cortney Joseph

Though I was exhausted, having worked a few extra hours the day before… I made it a point to get up early this saturday morning. The 29th, and while I have this stupid competition I let Justin and my sister talk me into doing, that the creators decided at the last minute to change the time for, I also need to see my daddy this morning. To see him, and to give him his copies of my last two poetry collections. Read More

The 25th (Part 4 of 6) by Cortney Joseph

Thankfully today, I got off early, and tomorrow, the 22nd, I have the day off. I knew that if I was finally going to get serious about doing this competition, and working towards feeling better about myself in general, I had to buckle down. That starts today, and if I have to keep my ass in the house and work all evening and night, then so be it. Read More

The 25th (Part 3 of 6) by Cortney Joseph

He folded his arms across his chest and began mocking me. “Ugh, I wouldn’t dare get on stage. They’ll take one look at my fat ass and know that I’m a terrible writer. But you don’t do that, huh? Not that you’re even fat or overweight, but that’s what you call yourself, so-” Read More

The 25th (Part 2 of 6) by Cortney Joseph

Sahara and Justin looked at one another. She was expecting him to slide in with some quick words to cheer me up, but he just turned away and went back to observing himself in the tan harem pants he’d picked out, smoothing his hands along his hips and thighs as he puckered his lips and blew kisses at himself in the mirror. Read More

The 25th (Part 1 of 6) by Cortney Joseph

So, here I stand, looking in my full length mirror as a complete mess stares back at me; barefaced with my cocoa brown skin looking dry, my jet black hair all over my head, wearing raggedy pajamas I’ve had for far too long, and a scar that has been present on my left cheek since I was about ten years old. Assessing my appearance, and my life as it stands now. Read More

Dream A Little Dream by Cortney Joseph

My back against the Earth, I exhale all of my troubles and worries, and inhale the possibilities of peace and harmony. Closing my eyes, I count to five, and I feel myself drifting away. Read More

Not Gon’ Cry by Cortney Joseph

I can’t help but think that I should have beat them to the punch. Should have done my own experimenting and exploring, should have taken my own two weeks out of the country to ‘find myself’, should have done any and everything to be the one causing pain instead of feeling it. Read More