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This Dark Water (Sasha Massey - Lafayette, LA)

Each day I sing and perform I count as victory over blatant favoritism and over all a system built to fail us.
Something setup to remind us we are other. Wrong. Ugly. So much that we have to fight to learn a history hidden. And love how we are made while everything around us screams change. Straighten your hair. We tan you bleach....She was a warm brown. Blue undertones.
I remember her.
She sang to me. Her favorite thing was to make me sing along to the Reading Rainbow theme song when I was little. When she was still here.
Her absence hangs over me like an overcast sky. Pushing my feet down harder with every step. The coming rain is pressed to my temples and crowding my mind. Making my knees buckle.
Crying in the shower where no one can hear me but God. Father. Silent. Always listening. Watching me slam into emotional walls, stand up and covered in new scars. Where is she?
Forgiveness is not for them. It is for you. That finally you might stop blaming yourself as you see her face in the mirror. Stare at her picture and memorize her smile frozen in sepia tones. Did she ever wish she could turn to stone when people hurt her like me? 
Did she forgive my grandmother for saying it was her fault for being raped at 13 and again in her 20's? I wish I could talk to her.
Instead I have questions. Emptiness. Missing pieces inside me.
Crooked stitches connecting torn seams. Working out until I tore muscles in my chest. Carried down stairs by paramedics. Sitting in an emergency room looking like nothing was wrong with me.
Wondering like you did, "If I left, would anybody care?" We are all forgettable dust being cruel to each other with our quickly disappearing lives.
Eyes overflowing. Ears ringing. Dizzy with panic every morning wondering how I'll pay these bills with this many jobs that combined don't pay worth a cent all by myself.
Up to my neck in this dark water.


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Legacy of the Future (Ted Richard-Church Point, LA)

One day, a very large owl appeared in my dream. Its rainbow colored feathers showed Only the wealth of wisdom that had been Amassed throughout its lifetime.
And then it spoke to me “Legacy of the Future” And then flew away.
It’s strange to me how a dream can be So distant yet so relative, So blurry, yet so vivid; So imaginative, yet so real.

I spent many of the next years Wandering and wondering. Wandering through my childhood, Wondering where life would take me. Wandering through my adolescence, Wondering which path to choose. And wandering in my young adulthood Wondering if the choices I made would ever mean something.
And then I remembered the dream. “Legacy of the Future” And I knew exactly what the owl meant.
From that day forward, Each day I dwell on each moment As a way to become the person I envision myself to be: Honest, Strong and Proud. I am honest about my successes and honest about my failures. My failures become opportunities, and leads to more focused direction. I am s…

When I Look into the Rainbow I See (Bisquita Stevens-Broussard, LA)

When I look into the rainbow I see
Blues like the sky and greens like grass to grow.

When I look into the rainbow I see
Yellows like the sun that gives me the Vitamins that my skin needs. When I look in the rainbow I see
Purples and oranges that make flowers look so Vibrant into my eyes. When I look into the rainbow I see
Red that stands for hate the same hate that is why a lot of us can't marry the person that we love with all our of heart. Isn't red supposed to mean love? Red hate, just because I love someone in my own sex.
I also see hate in my own Gay community. Who cares If I can't wear the Latest fashion because of money that I don't have? It should be what is in my heart. Stop the hate and stand together as one.

Superman (Jennifer Chehardy-Lafayette, LA)

I thought you were Superman. Taking off Brave. No gear. No fear. Kryptonite? Pffft!  Muah! So you thought. But discovered When you landed, there lie your krypto. The green glowing rock of  The familiar, routine, ordinary. What next? Another flight. But how? After you've worn the cape. Es-cape. Leave the cape. Only to discover you are Clark Kent. And he is Superman. Maybe not in flight but in person. Be that person With or without the cape. The story still ends the same. Get the girl. Know your weakness. Always a hero Just sometimes in a different place. When you were flying I said Who is that? A bird? A plane? When you landed I saw you really were Superman.