Back Pain

my b(l)ack is cracking,
a makeshift thing,
the kind you’d assemble out of
scrap metal, broken pieces of trash and the grace of god,
fused together by withered hands striped and shaking,
my b(l)ack bleeds borrowed blood,
blood borrowed from my Grandmothers’ broken bodies.

my b(l)ack keeps on cracking,
it does not belong to me,
i am not upright of my own volition,
you dare to call me self-indulgent for
revelling in the royalty of my own ancestry,
do i not, after all they lived through and died for,
(those Women… my god, those Women)
deserve to speak over and over of their sacrifice,
cry again and again for their unshed tears.

my b(l)ack won’t stop cracking,
and these pages can’t contain me,
and the world won’t suddenly love me tomorrow,
the ache is where they touch me,
god gave me the wrath of my Grandmothers,
my b(l)ack folds and my b(l)ack bends,
and it cracks and it cracks and it cracks.

PC: Yagazie Emezi (

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