Nobody loves you when you’re down

These diseases make you unlovable

Nobody loves me when I’m down. And can only see the swarm of darkness closing in on me. My eyes must look so small and bloodshot—fighting to see through bright flashes of light: alarms that never snoozed, constant and jarring.

Nobody recognizes me when I’m breaking. Code, character, promise, or self. My hands must turn into gnarled claws. These that used to build and tickle. Mine that were soft at some point. Now beaten and bloodied, fights that never ceased.

Nobody wants me when I’m dying. And poisoning everything around me. Excuses do not ever mend. Tears in the fabric or rips in the heart. My skin is greening from sickness and internal turmoil. My feet are numbing at the toes and my poor heart is struggling to fill my veins. Sluggish and heavy, aches that never soothed.


Journal entry

I’ve been thinking a lot about time and the passage of it. I can’t believe 2010 was 8 years ago. That so much has happened and changed, and that I can sometimes still feel stuck. Even with all that’s different about me and mine today, I feel unmoved and perhaps like my old self in a new body. I feel tinges of regret and guilt about choices I made and ones I had absolutely no say in. Feelings that would not have occurred to me even two years ago, when things were different but not so vastly as five years ago.

Continue reading “Timeless”

Smaller than myself

I was a hundred and fifty-six pounds
When I met you
Could cross the span of an ocean
In one, two steps
Filling up the space of myself
With all the things I knew
My preference for backwoods
And ice-cold Minute Maid
Prone to spilling myself into open arms
And rebuilding my muscles
So I could cradle my loved ones

Continue reading “Smaller than myself”

With No Immediate Cause (notes to Ntozake)

In appreciation of the poem by the same name
with no immediate cause
Ntozake Shange

I used dashes (—) to mark line breaks when quoting Ntozake Shange’s poem, so as not to be confused with her artistic use of slash marks. 

The most useful piece of information I took from my intro to women’s and gender studies course was the reality that my lived experiences with harassment and gender-based violence are in no way happenstance. Nor are they the result of my choices in company, attire, whereabouts, or recreation. I am a single body inside a reality that has warped and misshaped itself into a place where “every3 minutes a woman is beaten— every five minutes a— woman is raped/every ten minutes— a lil girl is molested[1].”

Continue reading “With No Immediate Cause (notes to Ntozake)”

educate the masses

This is a “Poem of the Day” feature piece

To teach tolerance
Requires a level of tolerance I simply do not possess
And compassion for the ignorant
Who deem themselves not so violent
Because they only pay the company that makes the guns
And guns don’t kill people/
People—men with pent up emotions from childhood
Women who believe themselves exempt
Cowards hiding from the truth of themselves—
Kill people

© Ama Akoto (2018

Continue reading “educate the masses”