Bone & Breathless

skin is missing
liberation & violation usually ends de same way
with your DNA lying on someone’s grass

in 2005
de soil asked de sky if it could collect me
de sky shunted
its back peach & swollen
de soil made room for me inside its stomach
ants crawled up my legs hunting for a sky
i rolled over & told de ground not tonight

i became estranged with de sky
grew creases in my neck learning to haul my gender like a mouth
leaving a trail of fish-oil & seeds
when i did finally cut-eyes with clouds it was carnival 2019

i split my waist from de edge of a blunt
played patti-cake with de road for 10 hours
de air inhaled my punches
spirit engulfed by soca
blood enamoured with rampage
my cheap trainers cried at their massacre
my skin felt so much liberty some left
& de wind rolled tru to suck at my bone
as though she were a woman prying on a newly-divorced man
greeting my bone & breathless state with roasted breadfruit
i let her in
too happy on rum & bass

as i lay on de grass once again
panting with a soca monarch tickling my ears
de soil again asked de sky if it should take me
de sky again said nothing
i turned to de soil
i told it to stop requesting de sky’s permission to handle me
euphoria & man make de same wounds
but if i don’t get up for de next war
come collect me



Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa is an interdisciplinary poet who chiefly uses movement to write. Her first collection ‘The Inheritance’ is forthcoming with Out-Spoken Press.Β  Website: