Poets Corner: Africa's Lament


where are my legs. where are my legs. i had to give them to my babies so they could swim back home to me. back home to me. back home to me. i rubbed the sun all in their hair. every single birth. i rubbed sun in their hair. so they remember who they look like. who they look like. who they look like. me. to lose love that way. to have to watch them be opened like that. all the way down to their mouths. time will never know my skin. wild with everything and nothing but them. i sang into their blood. each and every one of them have my voices in their bones. they will come home. i know they will come home. the whole sky had to hold me when the world came to eat my children. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. that fear. that pain. wake up my loves. into me. i will come to you every night. every single night. because you do not understand your nose. or your feet. or the boats in your eyes. you do not remember me. and you suffer. you suffer. you suffer. you suffer. you suffer. you suffer. you suffer. you suffer. swept with banzo. swept with banzo. swept with banzo. you suffer. you hate yourself. you hate me. this is death for a mother. how many deaths. i am your mother. i am your mother. i am your mother. i am your mother. i am your mother. i am your mother. i am your mother. i am your mother. i am your mother. i am your mother. remember me. remember me. remember me. my hands in your heart. i won’t let you go. i will find you. worlds away from me. i am your beauty. i am you. no matter how much bleach you must drink. every night i will come into you and repair. relove. undo everything that is not me. i memorized you. i will walk over all waters to come and get you. bring you back to me. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know. they do not know i put salt in each one of your skin. each and every one of your skins. they do not know that salt preserves not only fruit. but children. you will remember. you will remember. you will remember. you will remember. you will remember. you will remember. you will remember. you will remember. you will remember. you see. my love. you see how your body is beginning to slow glow with stars. you are remembering. you are mine. you have never been anything else. – africa's lament

nayyirah waheed. salt.


Photography by Delphine Diallo©

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