Poetry Selections: from ‘Soft Magic’ by Upile Chisala

Disclaimer: each of the following selections are from “Soft Magic” by Upile Chisala; they are not my own. No copyright infringement intended.

I am dripping melanin and honey.
I am black without apology.

Remind your little girls with kinds in their hair
And skin as dazzling as the night sky
That they too are miracles,
That they too are warriors.
Remind their little souls of the goddesses
They are meant to be.

Too many earth-toned men and women
And broken
And bleeding
Black and begging
Black and barely breathing.

Too many honey-skinned people
And burnt
And bruised
And bibled.

Too many melanin children being put to bed
Early in tight boxes,
Playgrounds and prayerhouses
Becoming graveyards and tombs.

Maybe we carry our mothers’ traumas in our bones,
our fathers’ griefs in the blood.

I am sorry,
maybe we inherited some of their pain.

(what they carelessly gave us, what we’ve been trying to give back)

For nine months you too swam in mother blood.
How do you manage to hate women with
everything that you are

When every bone in your body began in one?

In this hard, hard life
there will always be things to crawl out from under
and to rise from.

after everything has been fought
there will always be a light to step into.


Published by Bryan-O

Nigerian-American | Dallas, TX

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