Colors For The Broken Nigress
Am bloodied, I said, and the world stood crippled,
and I below it, and I barely lied.
I couldn’t watch myself for too long, how
the color bled through mirrors, how the cicatrices
would lay beneath skin. It is unusually tireless
to smooth jagged edges for hours, while
trying to find white words to fill black pages; some days,
I vomit pale mistakes that pass for perfection,
never mind the nights I want to crawl out of my skin, just to hang it on the wall of my grandmother’s basement, something dark, ill, colored.
“Ọmọ mi, o ranti awọn alaburuku ti won kowe nipa wa?” she’d ask but
I wouldn’t look her in the eyes, because I had forgotten how to
answer questions truthfully and the color would burn,
becoming so loud, I would have to plug my ears and
cry, tears not fit for colorless ears, that too often resemble battle fields
screaming, a war call for nigresses and my grandmother would see
too much of herself in me, she’d ask “Do you remember the nightmares they told about us?”
no. what does it matter with this thirst?