(April is #PoetryMonth)
Safia Elhillo is a Sudanese-American poet. She is a recipient of the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize. Her debut collection is The January Children (University of Nebraska-African Poetry Book Fund). I’ve been reading her poetry and I really like!
Self-Portrait With No Flag i pledge allegiance to my homies to my mother’s small & cool palms to the gap between my brother’s two front teeth & to my grandmother’s good brown hands good strong brown hands gathering my bare feet in her lap i pledge allegiance to the group text i pledge allegiance to laughter & to all the boys i have a crush on i pledge allegiance to my spearmint plant to my split ends to my grandfather’s brain & gray left eye i come from two failed countries & i give them back i pledge allegiance to no land no border cut by force to draw blood i pledge allegiance to no government no collection of white men carving up the map with their pens i choose the table at the waffle house with all my loved ones crowded into the booth i choose the shining dark of our faces through a thin sheet of smoke glowing dark of our faces slick under layers of sweat i choose the world we make with our living refusing to be unmade by what surrounds us i choose us gathered at the lakeside the light glinting off the water & our laughing teeth & along the living dark of our hair & this is my only country - by Safia Elhillo