Come to the Edge
greets the sun like
he the homie from the block
she ain’t seen in awhile”
I was born boiling
under the heat of a West African sun at 1:30 p.m
sweat pouring like bountiful rivers of
coconut milk at the beach.
I was born in an exchange
with a father whose one leg
remained in one country, and the other
pacing back and forth under the brim of world
cup tournaments where national allegiance
came into play. I was born i n the womb of a
mother whose body symbolized sex
complexion sweltering like orange stones on
resilient neck reflecting the
testimony of the sun within the kiosk of an
electric fanned hair salon–
her glory ended
and began there.
throngs of women arriving with stories of
their men on their tongues. leaving with the
smell of pink oil and dark & lovely relaxing
creams conversing on the strands of their baby hairs.
I was born speaking in tongues, justifying
arguments with adults at the top of stairwells
throwing worlds like baited fish on the cracks
of my teeth. young girl–not quite young, been
seven year old girl mimicking Mama’s sex
appeal because that is all she knows.
with mini skirts and bare back tops
and afro beats on radios under harmattan heat
it was all birthed anew on long car rides to kebab bars
with the smells of guinness bottles and marital violence
Mama ain’t raise no innocent
Mama raised the
Your mother; or All the Mothers that I’ve Ever Secretly Wished Were Mine
i fold myself into the corner of the four inch room
as you run your fingers over the seasoned piano like
the spirals on a 2 ply notebook. you tell me about your
mother–how she used to chug her warm beers seated
on a mahogany bench before the black and white beast,
the living room light growing small with each gulp as she got
really into Alicia Keys and cried–her emotions spilling out
of her chest like a tornado in a Louisiana storm/ seamless and rigid.
you say this and I peer at you, stretching my finger to the lines
of your forehead as you play / you don’t seem real and i fold
my arms into perfect creases on my knees as your music swells
over my head .
gates open and tears bloom out of my eyelids like freight trains
under the safe sheet of mourning,
my shoulders heaving
my sobs echoing
the ways in which I am sure angels lament their immortality.
you ask me if I am okay. you say that my laughter
the way it moves through sadness, hard and stable,
i say, this?
Claudia Owusu is a Sophomore at Otterbein University, studying Creative Writing. She loves the color mustard yellow, and just recently turned 20. She thinks the number itself looks pretty old.