when home means more than one place

transnational chronicles: a series of “poems” on the negotiation of identity when home means more than one place.

and while you break your teeth
to keep your tongue

and you seek healing
by stitching the gaps

they will spit you out
from the mouth
because you taste
foreign.

-language


don’t be nervous
you won’t even notice

you won’t notice the transition
from being ghanaian
to being african
to being black
to being person of color

don’t be nervous
you won’t even have to decide which you want to be
the choice isn’t yours

perhaps in this there is a freedom

-identity


and when you call your grandmother on the phone
and she asks when you’ll be coming to see her
you must lie and say sometime this year
even though you know
that has been your response
for the past
8 years

do it for her heart

-gofundme back home


i’ve always hated math

but somehow
i’ve become a mathematician

calculating the number of hours between us
plotting how many oceanic galaxies it will take to get to
you
dividing the ventricles of my heart
and dedicating each one to a different
home

-metrics

e.

on purpose: hatching

we all have it.
that thing.
sitting in your stomach
turning
poking
growing.
that thing that if you sit quietly enough
you’d hear it whisper your name.
on certain days it almost feels like it’s going to explode
or crawl out of your throat
head first
scratching.
on others you find yourself frightened.
where did it go?
why can’t i feel it anymore?
did i dream it?

we all have it.
that thing.
that thing that you feel like you should give a name
like we do all things we become accustomed to.
people always tell you how beautiful your thing is
how you should show it more often
all the while you thank them
all the while you are confused
you don’t see it
that thing that is all over you
spilling
out of your pores
hatching.
and you look down
and you see your self
staring back at you
and it feels like
everything you’ve ever wanted to be

e.

wwb

writing while black is to declare war on those who terrorized your existence.
those who are still terrorizing.
it is to pick up a pen and rewrite historical lies.
it is avenging the first slave.
it is loading a gun with words and shooting Hegel in the face.

writing while black is snatching your voicebox from those who dare speak for you
and shoving it back into your larynx.
it is licking the blood from your hands and tasting truth.
it is finding it sometimes sweet sometimes bitter
it is swallowing it anyway
it is acquiring its taste

writing while black is to be the medium Change uses to speak to Revolution.
it is Protest shaking hands with Action
it is knowing the revolution will not be televised but it will be written
it is being the black ink

writing while black is to welcome Assata into your home.
it’s to have coffee with Fanon before your afternoon walk with Maya
it is to create our own language and speak it too.
it is to be heard.

writing while black is to be magic.
it is constructing whole universes where you are free
it is to set yourself free
it is to be your own master.

it is to loosen the noose and leave your story hanging
it is to turn their heads and make them look
it is not compromising for white comfort
it is to speak without raising your hand
it is to unapologetically give yourself permission

to write while black is self care.
to write while black is activism.
to write while
black is power.

e.