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with Jesus

Tonya Ingram

Until the Stars Collapse

you owe it to yourself to quit being the apology. to
hold your hand and sing your favorite song. to
love another and see how far that will go. to love
yourself and forget where you were headed in the
first place. love is a funny story. it wakes up and
builds a plot. it wakes up and shapes you into the
kind of woman your mother studies. i am not per-
fect in it. i am not even remotely articulate. but it
is big, this love. it is airborne and triumphant. i am
no easy show. i hurt like the climb of my lineage. i
hurt on purpose. i hurt to not be hurt. no, none of
this is an excuse. just a blueprint. a map. come
find me when the day is bronze and the sorrow is
full. i am building my poem in this here heart. all 
of it is a working title.

Tonya Ingram is the 2011 New York Knicks Poetry Slam champion, a member and co-founder of NYU's poetry slam team, a member of the 2011 Urban Word-NYC team, the 2013 Nuyorican Grand Slam team and the 2015 Da Poetry Lounge Slam team. She is a six-time poetry slam finalist, and a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. She is a New York University alumna, and a graduate from Otis College of Art & Design where she obtained her MFA in Public Practice.

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