You're Not, I Am


Names like mine

Too harsh for your mouth

Too solid too quick

Not the liquid language you’re used to


Names like mine

Warmth and meaning and lineage all leading to ancestral daydream

Of carefree unconstrained dark hair girl teaching you how to pronounce her name (again)

Telling you what she is and what you’re not (again)


I’m the dead body on TV

I’m the naked oriental in the painting

I’m the burning star

I’m the clothednakedclothednakedclothed on your beach


You are suffocating presence you are stolen seas you are gun at my back you are boot stamping on human face forever and forever and forever


You’re not smuggled love not crescent with a star in the middle not potential security threat you’re not the centre of universe you’re not everywhere but I am I am I am


You’re not red like spilled blood

Black like daily mourning

Green like hope

White like shooting pain


You are not drunk holiday you are ethnic cleansing


You are stolen struggle you are theft you are plastic bag billboard salvation you are guilt-free promiseland you are blood on your hands you are plagiarized milk and honey


You found marvel in murder and joy in genocide but my pain my death my faith my love is all mine is all I am and you and yours can’t even come remotely close

Shams AkramComment