you can’t be unsaid

those who would do

you don’t sleep well

they are waiting

for the sound of you

remembering they

stay busy erecting

walls between you and

memory trying to erase

the cause without addressing it

they say your name without

looking at you they

only see what they made

they are afraid of the original

they are afraid of their creation

they would like you

to be quietly malleable

N visible so they

pretend not to

see the elephant

not to smell the

funk of his farts

coloring the world but

the funk is real

it can’t be unsaid

like the undeniable slick

sweet coolness of steel until it

cuts shedding blood that

can’t be unspilled the song

of language dying can’t be

unsung it will grab other

words to remember to remember

crossing oceans leaving home

the world turned out like a gourd

no quarter in the storm

being the refugee over and over

in a land you never chose

no harvest though your

blood waters the crops

divided without you at the table

no shelter from the machine

that wants to eat you

after it squeezes out the

essence of what keeps you

walking upright still you

at the core when you scratch

pass the veneer when

it all wants to press you down

until you run over your

self on the way to being

what can grow in the

desert until unless you

remember the words

whispered to you before

the light before the air

before you knew the ocean

if you can remember

the words that name your

path they can’t be unsaid

you are

you can’t be unsaid

you are

About Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I create; therefore I am.
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