Issue 9

Autumn 2013


Post –

Veni, vidi, vici. – Julius Caesar

My skin in the Sahel, here, browner
than it’s ever been, informed by sand,
the assaulting mirror of the Atlantic
& an unreasonable sub-Saharan sun.

But it’s still an artifice, some wound I
–  & the rest of humanity – lunge
fingers & fists into again & again.
My white is so deep children sing songs

of myself, white person, toubab, bonjour
& dreadlocked men try to hustle me
into the sex tourism game. My blood
is rich with empire: dreams white-boned,

blue-blooded. My DNA, diadem of pink &
sunburnt that these days, overshadow
all those earthtones. Bouquet of push/pull.
I have done so much & too little. I get caught

on all the damage, afraid of mistakably
unleashing that privilege hurricane always
swelling inside, filling me. I am, after all,
its eye. It is I. Quietude, another sign

that gets misread. I lurk in the dark,
luminescing like the moon, feeling it,
that sway. I wait until they turn away,
a loosening, grab what I see as mine, & run.



Kirsten Hemmy