The song of defeat - a poem by Agbiri-onwu chinwendu Elsie
These days are dark days. Show me your fears, and I will show you mine.
The things that scare me are worse than
Stunted hair and tangled braids
Or the darkness that comes after lights-out
Or the uncertainty that comes with mortality
What I'm afraid of is much more than broken bones
Shattered hopes and broken homes
I'm not afraid of nails
So maybe I should die for my sins
Hang myself for being born in a skirt
I'm afraid of broken hymens
Of clothes torn in lust
Of the road that leads home past eight-fifteen
Of the hands that grope in the dark
The sound of blood pounding in my chest
The knowledge that I can't be free
The sleepless nights of terrifying dreams
I'm afraid to die before I live
How do you fight after you've been defeated?
How do you hold on to a straw in the middle of the ocean?
When you feel like falling
Do you flail your hands and scream?
Or do you just fall
With no memory of how you lost your voice?
I will put myself out
Like a clown
I will make amusement of myself
Show me your fears
And I will show you mine.
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Cover photo by Den Trushtin.