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Friday Feature: Natiesha Evans

Natiesha Evans is an emerging writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work, which includes poetry, essays, and short stories, explores themes such as the complexities of relationships, the bittersweet nature of memories, and her life experiences as a Black, “geriatric” millennial woman that are filtered through the lens of anxiety and bipolar disorders. She is a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing from the Writer's Foundry at St. Joseph's University. When not writing, she listens to her favorite podcasts, enjoys aimless walks in museums around the city, and finds calm in the strange and deep world of true crime stories.

When Your Bully Makes Your Bed


One night, I tapped the lukewarm radiator pole in my bedroom. I’m certain it was at the beginning of fall because the pole was only warm to the touch and not as hot as it could get to fully melt crayons. That kind of heat was reserved for 4 p.m. sunsets and three blanket cold nights. I tapped it with a key, disturbing the flaky fish scale white paint chips, and watched them fall quietly onto my cream-colored carpet, as they always did, but usually unprovoked. I listened intently through the spacing connecting her ceiling to my floor and could hear Tracy’s frightened outward cries and her inward ones, too, the ones her grandmother did not—that came between each whoosh of her belt and the pop of Tracy’s skin against it. 

I hear you. It will be over soon.

Tap. Tap tap. Tap.

I often wondered if she could hear me the way I heard her.    

She did.  




I promised myself that I would throw my blue porcelain lamp into the wall right outside my bedroom, and I’d wait for your heavy footsteps to pound against the worn, brown carpet that extended to the threshold of my door, where my rage would meet you. I’d welcome your punches, your bitches, and hair pulls with punches of my own. 

I’d fight for my life if it meant humbling you.

I’d fight for my life if it meant humbling you.

Why did my innocence and my joy offend you?

You bathed in a tub of the voices in your head and I’d clean it.

The white powdered comet cleaner would turn blue as I washed away your guilt.

Your happiness scared me, 

and your anger was familiar.

You curled your hair in a broken mirror

Tracks were laid, but there was no train coming for you.


My therapist pointed out that in the moments that find me in pure panic—

when my heart is pounding heavily against the bars of my ribcage like a kidnapped animal fighting to be released from its captors when my breathing is deep and my lungs are touching my spine 


my eyes 



looking for help 

when I purposely place my body in full view so that if I died someone would see me or they’d hear the thud of my body when I fall next to a flower bed with a small laminated sign typed in a 40-point Arial font that reads: Please Curb Your Dog placed neatly in the dirt and someone would rush over to me and work frantically to help me; check my pulse, and break my ribs in an effort to free my heart

—take deep breaths. And imagine myself on a beach, faced up on one of those foldable white plastic beach chairs, eyes closed (the sun glowing red beneath my eyelids), listening to the waves of the warm water that I just waded in waist-deep push against the rocks off to the side, near where I’d seen seaweed and jellied remains of jellyfish.


Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.


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