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Poems by Shanice L. Speed

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I woke this morning feeling like three months ago, like yesterday was the time you told me that the lingering smell on your fingers wasn’t imaginary. The phone calls that would go until 3AM were a little too friendly, and the shoulder you cried on wasn’t just there to cry on.
I woke up this morning filled with anxiety; I can’t believe three months turned into one year and five months of me constantly resenting you. You were a blackbird with broken wings I couldn’t help but fix. Now who fixes me after you’ve ripped at my being?
I woke this morning feeling empty, like the last three months’ progress never happened. Now I’m the broken black bird, and you, with your mended wings are better than you’ve ever been.

-Shanice L. Speed



She woke with highlights of last night’s fight
smeared across her face,
the poignant taste of guilt on her lips.
It’s funny how words can leave
you with bruises;
each word ripped at her like knives to the heart.
She packed her bags today.
She walked out without a single
glance at the life she has left behind,
and all those promises she made
fell letter by letter on dusty marble floors.
They could’ve been something more than

nightmares and hurricanes;
they raged through each other’s lives,
breaking all but the walls they’ve built
to keep each other out;
it’s funny how words can leave you with bruises.

-Shanice L. Speed


The Cleansing

This time, I won’t lie in bed staring blankly at the ceiling.

There will be no sleepless nights or days without eating.

I’ll remove you from my sight, erase you from my memory;

make it so you never existed.

I’ll fill my bathtub with scorching hot water,

submerge myself until these lungs burn and beg for air.

I’ll sit before my mirror, lather my body with olive oil.

Look deeply into my eyes the way you never did.

Remind myself – I am f***ing beautiful.

A goddess who was perfect before she was ever touched by you.

I’ll remind myself that I wasn’t stupid or mad for loving you.

Tonight, I will not mourn you.

Instead I’ll do as I’ve never done before:

I’ll cradle my heart, nurse it back to life.

Remove all traces of you; make it so you never existed.

Remind myself- I am f***ing beautiful.

An empress who’s never failed to rise each time she’s been knocked down.

You erased me. Shunned me. It is you who have lost, not I.

I’ll remind myself, even though I loved you

I never needed you or anyone to survive.

-Shanice L. Speed



The More Things Change

(Sunday Afternoons)


My Grandmother’s

Sunday Dinners

were once my favourite event

of the week-

I’d watch her busy herself

hopping from stove to blender

making her

famous rice and peas,

stewed pork, and mango-carrot juice,

all the while smiling and laughing

as she told stories

of days spent in her

mother’s kitchen when

she was my age

passionate and in her prime.

-Shanice L. Speed



Please feel free to contact Shanice L. Speed at:

Wandering Sekai (Instagram)


Blessings in abundance!


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