Thursday, November 10, 2016

 Lower the Pitch of Your Suffering - Charif Shanahan

I know my suffering is loud but my skin
is light as sky and I was told to let it

open doors, shake hands, slip the cover
over their eyes, so I could be. Free

is not a negro doused in white, blanched,
bleached, and sent down the path. Free

almost never means alive, so please try—
I’m asking for help. Whose fist is in my ribs

at which gate. What color is the moon.
How do I move the line when it is buried

in the earth. Why do you think my face
is the face you think you see. In the earth.

In the water. Where can I rest my feet.
My hands. My tongue. My lungs. My eye.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

what they did yesterday afternoon - Warsan Shire

they set my aunts house on fire

i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?

i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered