Stasha Powell (Towards Visibility)

Stasha Powell


I'm in a place that no one wants to speak of

A place where no one wishes to visit

Riding this spiral down the drain


If they ask how I am, I feel them tense

before I utter the lie, "I'm doing just fine."


Visits - rare as they may be - are seemingly short

filled with misery as I try to hide behind all the "I'm fine" lies,

the uncomfortable truth pouring out of my eyes.


Sure, there is a pity - which I hate and despise

Sympathy meant to be soft feels like binding ties.

Words like do things, buck up, and smile, confuse me

since we all know I've never been a Mary fucking sunshine.


Pull more, push less, silly advice at best

In case you haven't noticed, my body is a mess

Poked, prodded, and prescribed

No doctor can figure out these damn genes of mine


Forget about my mental illness or the thoughts of suicide;

my immune system has declared war.

It tries to kill me time after time after time.


My body is a cage that can only be felt by me

it keeps me from life, DON'T YOU SEE?


Remember me dancing, laughing & carefree.

The true Bohemian I was always meant to be.

Not this... not this broke woman waiting for her

cats to die so she can finally be free.





It's a race I will never win

This one of my body versus my sins

Every late night catching up with me

All the vices I use to try reach

their dead fingers for my feet

to trip me up again

Choking on everything I never said

I look younger than I am

My brain is still 12 though

And my body is at least 110

The balance of self-care

And helping others is a wave

I ride well until wipeout

Taking care of me is no fucking joke

There are all the pills I must force down

Physical therapy and Pilates daily

To keep my joints moving around

A long list of fun things

I'm advised not to do

It's one big boot camp

To keep me upright

So I can keep moving through

It's more than a full-time job

And beyond a pain in the ass

If you asked anyone I've helped

They'd say I was accountable for all tasks

It's so much easier to help someone

That isn't me

I wasn't born a fighter

But life has made a warrior out of me

A title I didn't get to choose

I'll either push my way through the day

Or fall so helplessly behind

I'll lose my way

One little sickness has undone months

of hard work

Two steps forward and five back

Doesn't work with the patience I have left

Which is practically none

If I was able-bodied, I would have

Taken over the world

I want to love this body of mine

With all its anomalies and curiosities

But when I lay my head down at night

The throbbing pain of having been upright

Takes me down a darkened path

Where odds are weighed

And healing is undone

Having to think before every step

Leaves no room for spontaneity or fun

I'm trying so hard to find that

unconditional love

That I have for so many

But lately, it feels like my body

Isn't worthy of love

It's mastered treachery

And finding new ways to

Bring me to my knees.

I just want to live in

Harmony and peace

We're supposed to operate as one

Not separate entities

This decades-long fight

Between us

It isn't healing anyone.





I'm tired of pulling poisoned arrows out of my body

and only attending to the wounds

while ignoring those firing the shots.


I've spent this year learning to build walls

where once I only had windows.

I'm not afraid of the wolves at my door.


They thought that huffing and puffing

would get rid of me,

but I'm one of those rare beasts

that heals alone

Before coming back stronger than I ever



Now that I've put it to paper

They can no longer hurt me.

I'm the magician, the goddess, the

scarlet woman -

drunk on your release. I wish you all

the best

(as far away from me as you can get)

Consider yourself dismissed


There is no exquisite beauty without some Stasha Powell - raised by the wild books of San Francisco Bay, only to move away to Ohio, where she passes her days with her partner, Andrew, and plays with her cat Jax along with Noods, the snake. Helping those in need, while making hearts bleed with her poetry, as unique as she, and me, and you. She’s been published in books and magazines. You can find her at

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