Close to Joy by Londzo

Sleep looks a lot different than death
you know.
And I always hope you don’t
know it.
That you can’t comment.
I saw a little girl, on her daddy’s shoulders the other day.
I thought,
“I hope she keeps him.
I hope he needs her. I hope
they both outlive one another.”

I want everyone to survive every day
at the same time.
I want lovers to always go out together.
In a deep talk,
or a slow dance,
pirouette one another into otherworldly arms
as if
they never saw it coming.

They say that to die at 20 would be a tragedy,
it’s just too young and I get that
but I’m 21.
And I know people who have fallen into the deep sleep at 18,
bit the strange fruit at 15,
at 12.
I know that once,
a three-year old girl was left behind in a hot car,
it was too hot,
too hot.
And that sometimes babies come out of the womb
already gone.
Sometimes women feel life inside them
that never comes out at all.
So if I go,
it’s okay,
it’s Okay.

Leave all wood in this building
Un- knocked too because
I’ve seen entire families
water their collars like rosebuds
after hearing me speak for 5 minutes.
And if that’s not a goodbye kiss I don’t know what is.
I’ve looked out of too many airplane windows in fear
just to always land safely.

I’ve had the big love.
The true love.
The “God must’ve hand-made this person for ME” love
and even in the rubble of it all I am so grateful.
For proving
it does exist.
To see it, to know for sure.

Once, I wanted fiercely just to take my own life
and now all I wanna do is give.
Once, I saw a dying man do a selfless thing and thought
“Man, I wanna be a mighty legacy.”
A “never let you down” kind of lineage.
I have woken up every morning for two decades.
I’ve seen the moon sit so close to me,
that at times,
I swore I could touch her.
That in one galactic moment,
we could bathe amongst the stars’ reflections
in the lake of my hometown,
fall right into it.
I wanna know that when I hold my breath,
I’m doing it to survive the swim,
not escape it.
Today it is 14 degrees.
The air is so good to me.

Once, someone I really admired told me I impressed them.
My father,
always told me I impressed him.
And so I always felt impressive.
When he got really mad,
he would tell me that one day he would go on vacation
and never come back.
He always said he didn’t mean it.

And I always hope it’s sunny where he is.
I really hope it’s sunny.
Cuz it is where I am.



Londzo is a songstress, horror movie fanatic, and proud member of The Ragdolls Collective. The Ragdolls is a youth-powered, queer spoken word poetry collective comprised of three femme badasses. The collective published their first book, Hand Stitching for the Thick-Skinned this summer, available for purchase here. Londzo aims to target tough topics like grief, mental illness, and love with a dark voice and a soft touch. Find her online at the following: soundcloud facebook instagram twitter.