By | 1 February 2022

brown girl sweat runs in my blood

amla stained bathroom sinks, floor-length acrylics, and Sunday morning pooja

this civil liberty was never hereditary

my proclamation of womanhood was stolen before I could speak

my hair oiled, and my skin bleached (I untaught myself)

they tried to snatch me, pull me by my piggy tails

but this muddy hand bitch was too slick

so now before they take my akka I am yelling for her before me

her red sari is too quick for me

jaggery! thick sweet jaggery drips from her teeth

amou, amor I have a confession to make

I still suck my thumb when ama braids generations of strength into my scalp

I still whimper and whisper when the glass cracks a little too close to my feet

I still scream when I close my eyes and the guillotine of girlhood snaps

I’m still thinking about the summer

thieving and scheming under the sun

my gods are pleased with my dishonesty

my Durban aunty is always yelling at my loose hands


lessons of mixed masalas ingrained in the backs of my burns

garlic and onion first, grind, no thyme, mix don’t stir,

my heart has lived in too many cities

so, I hope this village shit will lead me on

my objectification will end in my glory

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