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?