I unzip myself from skin
From him;
From remembering;
I found myself peeling off
Skin that was violated
Skin that flinched at hands,
Be they familiar or foreign
Skin that knew dirt and hurt

I unzip myself, from myself
I want to jump from my skin,
I want to peel it off like it is an unwashed cardigan
I was to shove it in a box
I want to lock it and forget the keys to that lock
And place that box in the corner
On the highest part of a shelf
I want to save myself

I don’t have a ladder,
I don’t want a ladder
That box is filled, it is filled
It empties me, as it opens
And i feel
As it ages, it robs, and empties me

I have shed
Tears and skin
Tears and skin
Years and years
Years and years
Still bleach does nothing
No washing
Is enough
I want to save myself

-Written by Aisha Mohammed


These family ties
You could wrap its length around your neck
And hang
Or you could stick them down
And hold up gang signs with your hands saying
Don’t cross this border
There is a river of blood and more blood
It’s thickness is deluded
It’s thickness is folk tell
It’s thickness is not mine
I see thinness in your approach
I found better family away from home
Away from that border
Away from the river of blood
And more blood
And more blood
And long stretch of
And hands that beg
And hands that pocket
Attracted to bodies that sat
And spoiled
Always plotting
To ruin and control
There is no love in love that is worldly
They maybe amerced in blood but they do not love

Seeing hands that found yours to take
Only to take
Only to take
So next time the phone rings and you say
I am so and so
No how are yous
Or I’m calling to check up on you all
I hear you speaking
In that tone that says
I am intitled to you hard earned food of the table
Next time you call
I will cut the line
Because I know you only call for handouts
Your hands are always out
You have more youth and health in you
More youth and health in you
Than those you ask of
I won’t scrabble to the phone when it rings
I will let it ring
And ring
I see my blood has thinned
I am thick skinned.

They found me hanging
With that tie
But it was never voluntary