Lauren Thomas: Celebrating National Poetry Month Part 2

For National Poetry Month this April, Project Sleep is highlighting poets and poetry from our community. Launched by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Curated by Ana Lara.

Meet the Poet:

Lauren Thomas is 30 years old living in New York City. She was officially diagnosed with narcolepsy type 1 in January 2019. She was also recently diagnosed with Endometriosis in February 2021. Lauren is passionate about advocating for those with invisible illnesses and writing about her experiences. When she isn’t supporting her community, you can find her on the dance floor.

About the Poem:

“This poem is about my experience with medical gaslighting and racism while trying to get diagnosed.”

by: Lauren Thomas

My body-

Is it yours or is it mine?

If it’s first, do no harm

It must be second to disregard the first 

How much trauma is considered truth if it’s all invisible or done behind closed doors?

With truth comes power has never been more false in this amerikkka.

With power comes their truth. 

With power comes their validities.

Sadly a powerful validity from a powerful white man in a white coat doesn’t erase the trauma nor does it make me want to boast about learning the semantics of an exhaustive depressive fatigue I already knew.

So when I ask if my body belongs to me or to you?

I know the answer.

Do you?

Follow Lauren on Instagram at @lmt826. Thank you, Lauren for sharing your work. More amazing poems from Project Sleep community members coming soon!

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ernie Knight
    April 5, 2021 2:29 pm

    A valid question that more than deserves a respectful answer! Well put, Lauren! The wind is invisible, but is THERE, nonetheless. Actual understanding of Narcolepsy may not be possible to others. I don’t ask for understanding, anymore. I merely wish for acceptance and personal dignity.

  • Such power in this poem Lauren. You did a wonderful job.


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