The Ceiling

The view swallows me whole

from down here

it’s cold

i look up

into the light

outlining my hands with darkness

as i reach

past my station

and my level

and my class

and my knowing

into tomorrow

pushing a lil further

the sticky bits of yesterday’s dreams

clung to my skin

broken stems of possibilities

scrape and bleed

past more dusty realities


straining my arms until they were sore…

further still


I’m breaking-in to tomorrow

with the complete resolve to rob that new person blind

whoever she is

imprisons what I have always wanted

I’m busting in to the dawn of a year

and dragging her riches

back to the past

so she can remember

that I was here.


–Ariama Long

Time Has Gone

The time has gone somewhere

yesterday was five years ago

before i knew of you

have you ever seen the silhouette of a skeleton dancing in the moonlight he said

weighted words fluttering

over the shuffling

of broken desks at the rec

Hey, old me

pay attention

this morning the warning bell rang

clanging its announcement that 1st period began

Mrs. Gathers teaches us about Egypt

instead of Shakespeare

& i have the sneaking suspicion

that in a building

of 22 white teachers and a euro-centric curriculum

that she won’t last here

she was gone the next year

Ey, me, youngin

i see you daydreaming about pushing metaphors

around on stage late night

but fight through the heavy laid accent

and listen to the wisdom


Yesterday i thought yesterday was all i had

caught up in wishing for the world to end

so i don’t have to reflect on

who i could’ve been

until i told myself stop bitchin

took a good look within

and said its time to woman up

Little girl

i got our dream on my back

manifest destiny ahead

& I’m not prepared to stop

I woke up ready, pissed

at what i have yet to accomplish

grabbed old me by the hand

& hugged her

told her i loved her

but go back to sleep daydreams pepe jeans white tees

I got this

Time’s fast

but I’m faster

I will not rest until my dreams

of tomorrow come crashing

down with waves

of success