Based on Frank Ocean’s “We All Try” from Nostalgia, ULTRA


So you…we…him…her…me.
We gotta believe.
And choose to not believe.

We all try to keep our faith…

I believe in Him.
Though I may get lost and turn my back some days
In His numerous ways, He leads me as a daughter back
To cry and take comfort in His graceful arms
Safe from all dangers and all harms.
Jehovah Jireh, my Shepherd, He who Provides
God, my Father, for whom my love will never subside.
His son who died for me and His Spirit that reigns Supreme
Over this place called home until we once again return to His home
If we’re lucky…if we believe.

We gotta believe in something.

I believe in love.
Unbounded and unselfish.
Romantic feelings that can surpass a mile or three hundred
Kept fresh through hot phone lines and a hot computer screen.
Forty, forty-five years down the road and our love still has that
New car smell and sheen.
That Darius and Nina, each night I breathe you and become high
As you try to become the funk in my right thigh
Because you’re the blues in my left kinda love.
Wake up in your arms and you in mine
Your ring on my finger and my heart intertwined with yours
Doors closed, don’t wake the kids kind of love
Stretches across time
Romantic, platonic, familial
To question the power of love is trivial.

Something, something, something…

I believe in music
The power to speak without speaking.
To move people and cause them to feel happiness, sadness
Pain and et cetera without so much as a word to utter.
Hearts flutter as the notes dance and splice the air.
Life without music is life without passion and emotion.
My love potion, my sad poem, my hate note
Feelings across 5 lines, 4 spaces that someone wrote
My life has been dedicated to its preservation
My strength and happiness to three greek letters and
The purpose of what they mean
Music creeps from my pores
That can be seen
As I reject this ish that is most modern day music
I refuse it as I listen to music deemed “old”
Because I believe in the realness and longevity
Not the music of the faux and trendy.

I try….

No longer a sweet big brown-eyed girl of seven or six
No longer do I need my fantastical fix.
No Santa Claus is sliding down my chimney because
I know it’s gated.
No Tooth Fairy is leaving me any money for any teeth
Because I got all mine
(Besides it’s a recession and the bish is overrated.)
No Easter Beagles or Easter Bunny
Because honey, those tricks are for kids.
But that’s what they believe
Sweet simplistic faith before the world ages you
And enrages you against them.

I tried…

I don’t believe in some men
Because some men have hurt me to the point
Of tears, of pain, of sorrow
Of not wanting to see tomorrow
To have the “Groundhog Day” effect and relive the hurt again.
Like a harsh rain, flooding my life and my perspective
As I slowly feel myself being covered
Knees, waist, chest, neck…
Their words wreck me and wreak havoc in my life
As the words turn to promises, promises to lies
The wretched lies to venom
Serpentine, the hurt and the mistrust easy to be seen in my eyes
I don’t believe you.

But I try…you try…we try.

So to keep it short, sweet and to the point
Something to keep me going
Someone to keep me lifted
Some way to keep me fulfilled
Believe and we try…you try…

I try…

Something, something, something.
Gotta believe in something.


Picture of authorEmily Dixon is a born and raised North Carolinian. Now residing in the eastern part of the state, she works at East Carolina University at the Brody School of Medicine in the Office of Diversity Affairs. Between her professional work and her involvement in her fraternal organizations, Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, Inc. and The Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliated, she takes mentorship in the community and diversity and social justice issues very seriously. If you’re in the surrounding area around East Carolina University or are interested in more diversity work or programming, please reach out to her via email or connect on LinkedIn.

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