Vignette of Four Novembers: A Lyrical Recount (Mia Anika)


"The Lord is near to the heartbroken
And He saves those who are crushed in spirit (contrite in heart, truly sorry for their sin)." Psalm 34:18 AMP

Thank God for continuing to heal the wounds I had buried. May this lyrical recount of my journey bless someone.

Vignettes of Four Novembers

I flipped some pages back to skim through autumns past— 
The return of harvest, of the grand gatekeeper of rebirths and the decline of unsuitable relationships…
Birthday giggles
Slip between fire escape grilles in high heels
Near Midnight doughnut runs, Panera soup and turkey sandwiches
Smoke screen cyphers, iPhotos in the nude: edit - edit - filter - edit
Nervous breakdowns in elevators
Merlot tears escalating heated debates and furious exchanges of whatever we had to fuel a bonfire
Shots ringing, phone on silent, ego full volume, love on standstill. 
Karaoke sleepovers, open mics, drunk bingo, bar hopping
Party—crash into the sun, final holiday's blows with friends. Usually with used to be friends.

Hadn't I ever been deeply in love--
At least the semblance of it--
Or did covetous Desire permeate every connection, silently tossing victims to the grave from monoxide poisoning
Between all the cider, cocoa moca, bourbon hot toddy lukewarm sex coaxed up to maintain my inner temperature
Was my embrace genuine and inviting, or icy?
I could have sworn…
The pulse I rode carrying the energy of dazzling electromagnetic storms
Moved as a wave and brought me no closer to anything but self destruction.
In love
I fed, I read, I texted, I kissed, I wailed, I lusted, I laughed
I fidgeted and frustrated plans
I lifted overhead when I was too fatigued to stand on my own
I served I exhilarated I submitted I painted
I rationalized I explained I isolated
I trembled seeking solace in many arms; I screamed over hundreds of miles
I coaxed and coddled
I fought, lost and won and wearied myself
I was introspective, investigative, acutely self-aware and never less than intense—
So I came to assess.

Reality strikes when you realize the common denominator in all your dysfunction is you.
None of the attention you thirst for can satisfy the most deep seated desires
To have your heart, mind and soul rewired for good. For good.
To have unfailing, unconditional, undeserved agape love coursing through your veins is life that no synthesized dose of epinephrine could give you.
And as my very definition of love has grown to encompass
Giving without expectation
Radiating without announcing
Appreciating with tenderness
Esteeming above myself
Empathizing without judging
Listening without disputing

As I have come to know myself and like myself and expect greater for myself,
I had to wonder on those gaps,
On those passion-fueled occasions encapsulating my youth,
Those bursts of good intentions crusted over by insecurity and indecent exposure and premature emotional attachments—
Was I ever truly loving and in love?


I associated you.
You were the nuyorican from my new favorite book
Petricol wafting through humid afternoons
All the chansons from Miguel Zénon's Alma Adentro
Cinnamon candy and semi-sweet chocolate and ginger tea and peaches
You were Manet remixed In Rashid Johnson's imagination
As Fearlessly challenging as Vanilla Nightmares
You were The Long Walk and Love Jones and the perfect storm

And I hummed Samba em Preludio, with tears staining my sketchbook
Skipped up streets recalling episodes—
See, I'd already had a Darius Lovehall
And a Roger from RENT
And even a Martin-Gina experience.
But when you locked me in a sentimental mood
All the neon exploded and I was coral everyday and I hadn't been so flush of vermillion before I brushed against your guitar.
I don't recall a blues scribbled for me, or a bittersweet evocative song, or a full dance number, or a Brian McKnight proposal of epic proportions, or public demonstrations of affection
Except when your fingers wrapped around mine and your laugh rocked my core and
That was enough of a love poem for me.


I lace my fingers about the holt of a katana
Plunge into Antarctic waters
With the sharp acrimony of stainless steel singeing my tongue
As shrouds of yesterday's magic flutter, drift away from my body
As ice crystallizes on my velveteen skin.
Watch my limbs harden and relinquish their vitality
Watch me enter hypothermic shock and awe
At the sound of betrayal
Shotgun fired three continents away, echoing through the Pacific,
sending shrapnel fragments through my chest.
Yes. Witness my pain unfurling, crimson billowing upward,
Staining glaciers with regret.
Is such a lonely death.

Like egg shells crumbling into fragments
Feels like
Words mushing together in intoxicated incoherence
Lavender infused in coconut oil, melted into mango butter and spread methodically on aching feet
Tasted like amber, and blood mingling with sweat on my Savior's brow
Resembles Upturned earth and empty marbled sepulchers on Resurrection Day

Aloe seeping in a closed wound
A frenemy's epithet losing its wormwood sting
Watching the growth of your last love’s family, overwhelmed by joy and relief.
Healing is wrapping your arms around
The parent who betrayed your trust
And whispering it's alright
Go on and sin no more.
Healing is the unfurling of the white flag into the most splendid brilliant gold, sapphire, onyx and amethyst
Is finally exhaling, waving:
Victory sealed in crimson redemption.

Mia Anika is a black Millennial creative, visual artist, mental health advocate, and speaker from Atlanta, Georgia. She relates to the world graphically: She processes emotion and atmosphere and regurgitates it in living color. She paints and crafts, inserts and removes herself as a therapy–it serves as her psychoanalysis. She attempts to reclaim what’s perceived as loss. Mia facilitates others’ healing by inviting them to participate in the creative process. She genuinely feels that art heals the broken. 

Learn more about Mia Anika and the way she uses art to heal the hearts of others at,

Honoring the collective voice of womanhood, the Lessons From Love series was created to provide a community of support for women currently in love, or healing from love. The series will use personal narratives + testimonies to empower women to make effective dating decisions and to pursue the love they rightly deserve. 

If you're interested in being a last minute contributor, submit your 700-1000 word piece to Please include your name, website (if applicable), and brief bio. 

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