Monday, January 30, 2012

Ex Sex

Just moments ago the world looked different
Now late night tears and lonely fears got me wishing that we didn't
Want you out of my head
Reoccurring visions instead
Of you hugging, loving and kissing me in this bed
Memories of way back when

I placed my bet
You had me thinking I was winning...
But the loss I dread
Is far greater than this prison
It’s called living
Without you
It’s the hell I’ll endure
When you’re not here anymore
And I fall victim to weak inquisition
Of what I’m still living for

For the last time
Because the last time
I said had to be the last time
And then I took you back again
One last time

Maybe we’re better off as just friends
Because every time we try
This do or die kinda love
I get trapped
In tryna prove that I’m Mrs. Right kinda love
So I take you back
And in a moment the marvel of our love outweighs fact
And experience
Or maybe it’s just the fear in us

But all I feel
And all that’s real
Are our hot bodies pressed tight
Reassuring words “it’ll be alright”
Me on top
Your tongue on my spot
Scratches on skin
The taste of your sin
So I give in
You win
You inside
Lost my pride
I guess I can take you back one more time

Yet again, regretful thoughts
Wishing I could forget you thoughts
Because I fucked up again
Sister, lover, or friend
I gave you the power to choose
And guess what?
I lose

I find myself right back at the start
But perhaps the worst part
Is that you might as well not pack
I know that you’ll be back
And I’ll still be here waiting
For that ex sex
The best sex

And everything to come next…

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Please don’t take them
When you erase them
It’s like losing pieces of my existence
Memories get trapped in the prisons of our minds
They escape with time
And since there’s no rewind
No way to go back
We lose them
For life
But not forever
I know memories must exist somewhere
When we forget
They take on wings like birds
And fly high above heads and grave sites
Bodies of the dead
But warm thoughts give them movement
Keep them vibrant in our hearts
So that we never lose them

So I value “we will always remember” t-shirts
And “rest in peace” buttons
Of passed parents, friends, babies, spouses, aunt’s uncles and cousins…
Posters, pictures and teddy bears tied to street signs
Illuminated by dull street lights
Reminding us to never forget them
And even when the rain has washed them away
We’ll remember
Even after the casket has closed
And the words of poems written on loose sheets have faded
Even after the obituary pages lie dusty on the bottom of keep sake boxes
Or after we’ve finally decided to toss them

Because it becomes harder to hold on
Than to let go
When it’s not as easy to hold tight to memories anymore

So after we’ve ID’ed bodies
Way after sewn up bullet wounds and goodbyes
Replace texts of “I’ll see you soon…”
Road trips, petty arguments and play fights
Nights spent angry over who was wrong or right
We’ll remember which moments to treasure
And which to forget
Which pieces to hold onto
And what we regret
Will hold no significance
Life is a bet
And unless we’re willing to throw all of our chips in
All we’ll have to pass down to our children is fear and lament

But I want for our children to know
That we’ve placed them on fertile soil to grow
You will always be a part of that foundation
Future generations will know you through us
Through the dreams that you’ve passed down to us
Your memory will be bound to us

Through our stories
We’ll give life to you
Like windows to your spirit
Our children will be able to look through to your existence

And I’ll do everything I have to do
Because this is what it means to remember you

And I will ALWAYS remember you


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Was There...

Dearest family and friends,

The term “bittersweet” has never held more significance for me than in this very moment. I am honored to say that I have been a member of Reflect and Strengthen for the past 10 amazing years of organizing, sisterhood, consensus decisions making, equity, and restorative justice, addressing root causes of oppression, leadership development, anti-racism work, love, celebrating life, and change making. For 8 of those years I was a staff person with the organization. December 31, 2011 officially marked the close of my staff position and membership with R&S. I am grateful to the organization that helped mold me into the woman that I am today.

I became a member of Reflect and Strengthen in 2001. I was there for the first ever R&S play: ‘Tabula Rasa and All That Yin Yang’ and then years later, for our second full theater production: ‘Spill Life: Confessions of a Butterfly’. I was there when the city told us that a “little girl’s group” was not worth supporting. I was there to help nurture R&S’ growth from a “baby organization” into a vital part of community organizing in the city of Boston.

I was there when R&S underwent a furlough, threatening the future of the organization. What might have seemed like our lowest point to the rest of the world was actually the time of our greatest learning, growth, and strength. We fought for the organization that had transformed the lives of so many working class young women across the city of Boston…and we won! We didn’t just survive; we managed to raise more money for one fiscal year than ever before in the history of the organization. Not only did we prove our resiliency, but our members and our community stepped up in miraculous ways. They cooked for group, they babysat our kids, they had house party fundraisers, they told their friends to donate to R&S instead of giving them birthday gifts, and they gave their last monies to ensure the longevity of R&S. It became glaringly apparent that R&S was not only worth fighting for because of pride or because it was important to staff and members; R&S was worth fighting for because of the great impact that it has made on the entire city of Boston.

Because of the hard work of my sisters and community, I was there to watch members and their children grow up in R&S, leaving with the seeds that R&S implanted in them, that they continue to spread throughout their communities. From generation to generation those seeds continue to grow, blooming inside of all of us. I was there to witness the ripple effect of positive energy, love, and accountability first hang, a blessing that I pray I have done the work to pass onto future members, staff, board members and supporters of the organization.

I was there to help nurture the only all women’s collective in the city of Boston. It is imperative that women’s rights remain at the center of conversations, along with conversations about race, class, gender and queerness, and all of the ways that it is our duty to fight all forms of oppression. Through Reflect and Strengthen I learned how to live out the notion that if only some of us are free, then none of us are free.

As I write this, it’s reinforcing what I already knew. There are no words that can fully express just how much Reflect and Strengthen means to me. Reflect and Strengthen is the most dynamic group of women that I have ever seen, known, or been a part of. The echo of the impact that R&S has had on Boston will continue to sound throughout the streets for generations to come and I thank God that I can say that I was there to be a part of it. Through my membership and staff position with R&S I learned work and life skills that have benefitted me in every single area of my life. My role with R&S is different, but never-ending. I now get the opportunity to share in R&S through the role of a strong supporter and sustainer. I am incredibly proud to take on that role and look forward to watching R&S evolve into the next phase of its existence. R&S taught me how to love myself, how to believe in myself and in the capacity of my people to be greater than our potential suggests and far more than the world expects of us. Reflect and Strengthen has far exceeded the underestimation of “a little girl’s group” and has proved what incredible power women have to change the world.

Reflect and Strengthen has taught me that transition is about celebrating the journey from one phase of life to the next. I am grateful for the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve befriended and the gems I will now take with me as I transition into the next period of my life. I am excited to announce that I will be moving to Oakland, California as the newest member of the Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY) team!

Thank you to everyone that has loved me through it all. I am forever indebted to you…

P.S. I can no longer be reached at my Yahoo or Reflect and Strengthen email accounts. Please email me at: with personal matters only. For all R&S related matters, please contact Mallory Hanora directly ( or contact any of the members of our staff team at 617.442.2355. You can also feel free to visit our website at: for more info about our work and programs.

Please feel free to visit the Burns institute website at: and the CJNY website at: for more information about the Community Justice Network for Youth and the work that I’ll be doing in the next phase of my movement work.

In Peace, Love, and Solidarity,

Roselyn Berry