Two Poems by Azia Archer


I self-censor constantly. I tell the magic to Stop!

Tell the magic things like Whisper

into the ears of another and

I’m not ready yet. The magic obliges—

that polite, calculating little fucker.

The magic has its tricks, too, this I know, but still,

I fall for it. It whispers to another

in such a way that the message gets lost

or misinterpreted and I stew knowing it could

have been so much better. I brew and I bubble,

and the magic has me in its cauldron and it adds

a touch of this and a touch of that and it stirs me

again and again and it doesn’t stop until

my flesh has melted from my bones,

my skeleton face floating in pool of

sea-foam green and the magic reminds me

that the self I’m censoring cannot die

like the flesh can. The magic talks to me

about decay and I feel the noose of

veins tighten around my neck, the

noose growing tighter and tighter

until I’m flung back into this rotting

cage and I understand that I’m trapped

inside this pulsing cavity until

I learn to surrender, to listen

to the magic and its stories.


There’s a shaking black hole consuming me, tearing me apart, limb by limb and I think it has

something to do with the root chakra. It’s spiraling. Or maybe I’m spiraling. But I think it’s all

the same thing anyway. And anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, something is out of whack,

nothing can anchor or blossom or bloom because I’m this fountain of blood dancing in the wind,

a steady, forceful stream of guts, like my roots are above ground flying away. So I’ve been taking

myself into my arms, whispering magic words and making the time to meditate. See, I’m

grounding! I’m slowing down! This is self-care, man and I’m rocking it so hard. I’ve been saying

things like Namaste because I do honor myself and I honor you and isn’t it a nice way to say

‘hello’? But all this trying isn’t working. I just want the screaming to stop and all this red rage to

vacate. I’m trying to be chill, I’m too strong to cry and this vortex is taking my lifeblood,

stripping me bare. I see what I am now that I’m naked and alone. I scream into the abyss,

Nothing scares me! And suddenly, I’m steady. Suddenly I’m anchoring into the thick mud of The

Mother and this quiet knowing buzzes down through my heart and straight into the tip of my

spine, I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid and purple flowers sprout between my eyes

and this is the blooming. The budding and the rooting in spite of it all, the chaotic embrace of

acceptance, the strength to see it and hold it.

Azia Archer is a mother, writer, maker and, lover living in Minnesota. She is the author of ATOMS & EVERS (dancing girl press, 2017). You can find her online via Twitter @aziaarcher.

#aziaarcher #poetry #selfcare #censorship #prosepoetry