The tide is high
The house is packed
My neck is sore
The rain is imminent
My sister shines the mahogany table
While a Taco Bell commercial is on television.
The rain has fallen
The house is empty
My neck is sore
Roof leaks have soaked the spot
Where the mahogany table sat
Before my mother sold it to buy us dinner and pay the bills.
So we sit and eat Tacos while staring at the wall where the television once stood.
You know what it feels like to be that person?
that person who allows the ray of light
to bounce off your skin and glow like stars
dancing to disco while you command the pavement.
That person with the secret interlife, that inner battle
between the yourself and the “who” they expect you to be, while you try,
try as you might to transcend the suffering of your community
in flight from fear to freedom, just to meet fear at a crossroads once more.
When are you going to tell them, what it means
to be the rare dark matter that is the bearer of burdens,
the giver of culture and the editor of the unseasoned,
while leaving breadcrumbs of imagery to feed mankind.
That skin of rapture, that breaker of bondage, that
melanin maker, that imaginative machine, that
spiritual terrain, that expansive emotional reel,
that language that leaks through your pores,
that linguistic black sweat will make you heal
that black skin is the only part of the simulation that’s real.
Akhim Alexis is a writer born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. He is currently pursuing an MA in Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The McNeese Review, Juked, Finished Creatures, Moth Magazine, perhappened mag, trampset lit journal, Lucky Jefferson, Capsule Stories, The Caribbean Writer, and others. He can be found on Twitter @akhimalexis1
Image: “Missing 45” by Matthew Klein