Poetic Justice

Justice Thompson

Justice Thompson is a 19-year-old college student from Kansas City, MO.

She is very passionate about the arts and is pursuing careers in both writing & acting. After continually competing in Louder Than A Bomb and other poetry competitions throughout her youth, Thompson has become attached to writing & the community that comes along with it.

Though Thompson loves to utilize various writing styles & topics in her poetry, all of her poems do have one commonality: truth. From societal strife to inner issues, Thompson writes openly & honestly in hopes of discovering those who see themselves & others in her poems. 


When I was a little girl, I had oxymorons for dolls

Black Barbies with thin noses

Light skin

Fine hair

The beads of my ancestors’ braids rattle as they roll over in their graves every time a cream in a jar convinces a black girl that her coils are not enough

That oh so tempting chemical concoction whispers to her

It says




Heed to the demands of those who are so envious of your God gifted curls

Loosen your hair as they tighten the ropes of eurocentrism & self-loathing”

They see the true power interwoven between your locks that you have yet to know the magnificence of

I am much too familiar with the kicking of my kinks against my straightener

Every morning my straightener would burn any strand that dare resist its flat irons of oppression

My mother passed down the tradition of assimilation

Taught me how to style my hair with the gel of conformity

To be knowledgeable of myself is a threat

A black woman with a book is like a black woman with a bullet

Especially if that book tells stories of the intelligent civilizations from which her ancestors came

My people have a culture that’s taught by word of mouth

Escaped by maps embedded within cornrows because it was too dangerous to do otherwise

Brushed aside by historians who could care less whether or not you know the origin of your complexion

Of your vernacular

Of your hairstyle

What happens to a people when you tell them that their skin is too dark?

Hair too nappy?

Nose too big?

I look at my sister with tears in my eyes and weep as I realize she envies a nose bridge

Prays for strands of hair that are much too weak for a black girl with a soul so strong

Wishes for blue eyes from a white Jesus because she believes they’ll bring her true happiness

This is the time

The time we overcome all that is dragging us under

Resist those who stir the pot of bigotry and hatred

Preserve our culture like we have learned to preserve our curls under silk at night

This is the time

This is the time we don’t relax


See you next lifetime.

There was once was a cat

A cat who tiptoed softer than the pitter patter of the rain on my rooftop

A cat who who’d tread along the edge of the gutters, pawing & playing with death at every dawn

A cat who would fall and always land unscathed

There once was a cat

A cat curiosity & coercion got the best of

A cat luck latched onto and never let free

A cat I fed one time too many, so it knew it could call me home whenever it was convenient

There once was a cat

A cat who hurt me like it wanted to be a poem

A cat who lapped up my tears like breastmilk

A cat that outlived it’s nine long lives to come back into mine


Seventeen Years

Seventeen years

And I have realized solitude is my calling

I have been gifted an empty tune to nod my head to

A tune only capable of echoing dry & cracked whispers of loneliness

A tune forever dissonant

I have mastered the teachings of seclusion

Been mentored by the pages of the worn books atop my nightstand

Received lessons from the unseen

I have been cursed with ears that fall deaf upon cries of camaraderie

Dreadfully await my destiny of taking the shape of my one bedroom apartment

Before it has even been leased to me

I have become accustomed to stating I am a party of one

Let only the irony of the statement join me at my table

In life, my only company has been the lady who joins me as I sway to the song of the ceiling fan’s blades in my kitchen

But if you were to peek through the window

You would see a single girl

Harmonizing with the her refrigerator’s humming

Dancing with herself


When I Knew

In the beginning

There was an aroma of burnt popcorn & nail polish

Loud Katy Perry & random rom-com scenes

Glitter gloss covered lips whispering in my ear

Giggles echoing over the buzz of cicadas during midnight games of hide & seek

Beads of forgotten friendship bracelets scattered across the floor of her bedroom stabbing my bare feet

I remember

Late nights of slumber party “girl talk” circles

Full of mean girl gossip and boy crazy fantasies

A safe haven for hair braiding, nail painting and lusting after Justin Bieber

And, don’t get me wrong, I loved me some Justin Bieber

But he was no her

I remember

The way she went on and on about that boyfriend of hers

Who was always on and off and never there when he was needed

I remember

The way she questioned everything

The way she admired the birds, not because they were free to fly, but because they were free to love

It wasn’t always a love poem

But when it was

Every word she spoke to me

Felt as if she was dedicating her favorite song to the sorry soul I carry within this aching body

Sounded like vocal calligraphy

Beautiful, yet difficult to read

Every glance she gifted me with poured the God given beauty of light into me

A firework that burned blindingly bright for only a moment

Setting flame to the fuse of dynamite buried within me since the womb

And the scent of gunpowder lingers

The smoke forces the butterflies crammed inside of my intestine to escape from their cocoons

She pulled admiration from me like she pulled her hair into a ponytail at the break of dawn each day

The chestnut strands cascading down her pale shoulders that haven’t known sunlight since that crazy summer at Aunt Jenny’s beach house

In the corner of my mind

The dust blanketing my thoughts of her suffocate me

My feelings have festered like roaches in the walls of a dilapidated apartment

Crawling in and out of the taped up boxes of memories we own

I have no idea what will happen when I open them



i spend time here

in the bath

the only place the splash of omnipotent voices whisper loudly enough to be sensed by mortal eardrums

i lay




my head slips beneath the water

the suds cleanse me of yesterday

my palms find each other

and even if You aren’t visible, You are so


soaking up my pleas & pains

i know She can hear me now.

Pipe Dreams

by Justice Thompson

My best friend told me to dream big

He listened to every delusional desire

Innocent illusions of illuminated marquees hung high in a huge polluted city

I painted prayers of crowded sidewalks & obnoxious honks we’d learn to love

Forget the faces of those who stepped on our passions

Of those who now brag of us in the language of “I knew you when…”

We etched an eagerness into our hands, our minds, our souls

He designed a world where everyone knew our names, and those who didn’t soon would

A world where time is of no limit, and the sandy beaches are nothing but a mini road trip & a few good memories away

A world where the Big Apple & La La Land become one

My best friend told me to dream big

And I told him to dream bigger



After I got off school, I left for the gas station. I

Bumped into Lisa with the braids, and she asked

Could she tag-along ‘cause she “ain’t got nothin’ else to

Do”. I didn’t mind the company, I just needed something to

Eat. We’re walking, talking about Bobby & how they’re in a

Fight again ‘cause he don’t never compliment her no more, tellin’ me how she ain’t gotta worry though ‘cause the

Gas station men got

Her. Started saying,

“If he ain’t got me, I know they do. They always got somethin’ to say when I walk through.” Coming up on the store she

Jumps in front of me as she sashays up the sidewalk,

Keeping eye contact with the two

Loitering silhouettes of

MIller Lite and must throwin’ “Hey, beautiful lady”s our way

On the outside, she seemed unmoved, but I know inside she was beamin’. If them

Niggas wasn’t gon give her self-assurance, who would?

Or who was gon’ tell her mama she was caught up with some corner store bums? Lisa wasn’t

Pickin’ battles, just always gettin’ greasy men fired up & baggin’ boys that were never

Quite worth it, and she

Realized that too late in the game to change. All I can

Say is I tried my best. I

Took my chips & my dignity out the store, and grabbed Lisa

Under her arm. The moment for

Validation was over:

We both left with what we came for.

‘Xcept I know Lisa went back there sometimes. No one can ease that

Yearning. No man has anything but flimsy ass band-aids for them

Zigzags cracking her heart.


How to Shut the World Out

Step one to shutting the world out: Build a castle

Step two: Hope to God you’re a natural at heavy construction, so then communication with the outside world is really no longer necessary

Plate your mosaic castle windows with familiar faces of your fragmented past

Position them so they look down on you as they once did when they were constants in your life

Put up cement barriers so high the Great Wall of China would be envious

A barricade of bricks, bruises, and briskness

Design the main hall’s ceilings low, so the “elephant in the room” that has been your shadow for eternity will finally concuss itself

Leaving you truly


Let only songs that lack lyrics fill the rooms of your new palace

There’s no need for some singer to remind you how much your blissful, self-imposed loneliness suffocates you

Remember to forsake the flimsy picture frames that once bore the fond feelings you must leave outside the castle walls

You must forget

Step three:

Throw a party to forget

A celebration of seclusion

Invite no one

Swallow red wine from Swarovski crystalline glasses

Line the door jambs of every bedroom with white ribbon

Air helium balloons and let them hug the empty spaces of your ceiling

Dine on a magnificent feast

Stuff your face with crème brûlée

Sit the artwork you’ve stolen from the Louvre onto your balcony, so they have the best view your prolific garden

Now your only friends live on canvases

The only company you need is Ingres’ classical “Grande Odalisque

Because the concubine can’t communicate

Step four:

Talk into the void

Talk to yourself

Talk with your mouth full, crumbs dribbling onto the table

The only people to witness such a sight are Mona Lisa & St. John the Baptist

And what are they to do about it? Be mad?

Step five:

Create a moat surrounding your castle

Brimmed with alligators & manta rays & that one animal you saw that one time your mother brought you to the zoo for your tenth birthday

Leave a drawbridge available for any being that cares enough to cross the waters and break in


Encrust the upholstery of your throne with iridescent stones & emeralds

Sit down

Rest in the thick solitude you’ve earned for yourself

You can find Justice on Instagram and Twitter.

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