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Love Song Cacophony — An Atlanta Word Works Original

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Atlanta WordWorks Wednesday #ATLWWW

Weekly poems from your Team Atlanta representatives of Brave New Voices 2017

Ever Elon Taylor, better known as Jaha Bella, 17, is rising senior of the founding class of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School — home of the Flames and the Falcons — as well as a member of ATL Word Works Brave New Voices 2017 Team. Enhanced by a wealth of knowledge, an eloquent blackity womanist diction, and an inviting smile and spirit that could make the sun jealous, Jaha’s poetry takes you into her world and makes you feel safe there. We are lit lit to watch her spit this summer.

Read her poem below.

“Love Song Cacophony”

This poem is an ode to my grannie panties that tongue kiss my waistbeads when I walk

To the seams in my jeans that split when I sit because their fabric cannot fathom the majesty of my hips

To my lips

And my slight lisp

And the unlady like way I trip

And to my bitch face

That is never resting

To my confused sexuality and curl pattern

To being too “black girl militant” for your taste cuz you ain’t neva been full before

And to all the ugly and undesirable things that make me “colored”


Ode to the skinny girl living inside me that I still pray to

And the food fights she causes in my stomach

To starving myself so I don’t gotta be a war zone at dinner


Ode to my blues

To the albums I use to soothe the bite marks in my tongue

Cuz sometimes I tire of white women speaking for me

Sometimes I tire of black men telling me not to speak

Sometimes I just want a seat at the table without offering myself up as the sacrifice


Ode to my body

That I am still convincing myself belongs to me

To the foreign sheets I have made in

To men I have been made home for

the broken boys I have made love to cuz they mama ain’t love them right


Ode to my bed

That made too much room for should have beens

Made it okay to be spoken to in earthquakes

Made us shatter

Call it love

And confuse our brokenness

Made me carry their baggage


Ode to the nights I cannot untattoo myself out of

To how dead gods phone was when I begged to be held

To finding God in my sister’s arms when I thought I didn’t need her anymore

To finding God in my words when I thought that world didn’t need me anymore


Ode to the poems whose first drags were suicide notes

To the day I found bravery in being afraid to die more than I was afraid to try again


Ode to the fact that I got more bars than I got boobs

Know more about how to calculate an asymptote than how much jiggle my ass can hold


Ode to not feeling black enough to twerk but still black enough to be made into a church

To worshiping the mosaic of my being the right way

To never letting another man think he could possibly love me as good as I love me

To being the only one to call my body home because you will wait to be invited in


This poem is an ode to becoming the inferno I want to see in the world

To being a Zora Neale Hurston in a classroom of Mark Twains

to being a living testament of how beautiful broken glass can really be

To the air in my chest for never letting up on me

To my niece

And my lil cousin

And all the colored girls with confused sexualities and curl patterns

For making sure I knew

My poem

Just wasn’t over yet

Interested in Slam Poetry?

Stay updated with VOXATL.COM to read a piece from each member of Brave New Voice’s Team Atlanta and the coaches of Atlanta Word Works.

Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival is an annual slam poetry competition for poets ages 13 to 19. This year the festival will convene in the Bay Area, California, July 19-22.

Use #TeamATL #ATLWordWorks  and #WritersWednesday to keep up with weekly updates and profiles of Team Atlanta as we progress through the #JourneyToBNV17.

Atlanta Word Works offers free poetry workshops during the school year at VOX, too. Submit your own original work for publication by emailing


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