I am shirtless on my porch. Double-fisting mugs of tea in this summer swelter. Determined. I have built up a well of unshed tears and sweating seems to be the least painful way (if it even works like that) to rid my body of this excess of fluid. I do…


*I thought I had more time to say goodbye. So I wrote and addressed this to Sheila Roberts-Veatch to read while she was alive. I wish we had more years and I am profoundly thankful for the ones we had. Since she died before this could reach her, I am…


There is not enough time in the day to write all of the eulogies that need to be written. But at least let me write my own just in case they kill me before I’m ready. They meaning the state, most specifically, the police. …


when they call us dead before we die
but our hearts are still beating
where do we go if not the grave / in minds
underground. foundation. …


I had another voice before this. I believe it to be true. Somewhere in some womb, forever unknown to me, I heard a mother-tongue calling. But that was in another life I barely remember. A life briefly lived where I stayed. I mean, I was kept and I was not…


Pictured: The family I know that will love me unconditionally

If I wrote the piece I am scared to write it would go something like this:

I was adopted into a white family that claimed they had unconditional love. I was brought up in white communities and even lived in Oregon, founded to be a white utopia, for a brief…


Photo by Kate Macate on Unsplash

I love you. I need you to know that before I begin. Because this is painful and I am asking us to step into the hard with no real direction out. This is not goodbye. At least it does not have to be. This is a crossroads. You love me…


This Is Us

The beautiful world I am imagining has a place for you in it. Can you say the same about me?

VOTE.
Photo courtesy of the author.

Last night, election night, I stood on the precipice of today and embodied every inch of my being. There I was at the fence peering in at the White House while Beyoncé’s Freedom played behind me, wondering how many more moments I will get after this one. I wonder how…


“I just kinda feel like I’m unworthy of this life. God gave me life and as much as I try, I’m living in sin. And that is the message I’m just getting from all these people around me. And I hate liking women. I wish I had a choice, maybe…


TW: Self Harm

Karen poses for a picture by Lisa Gray

Here I am, sitting on this porch, computer in hand, watching the world move around me. The neighbor beside me has a dog that watches him smoke a blunt and I am not mad that the breeze is blowing towards me. The breeze is forgiving, breaking the…

Karen Leonard

Athlete. Artist. Writer. she/her.

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