Manifesto/Birthday Song

Picture by Charles Nyiha

Maya calls me phenomenal. I smile and try to believe her. Charles sends me a message, and tells me that somebody shouted, on a rooftop somewhere, that they wouldn’t be able to sell me plastic surgery if they had not yet convinced me that I am not enough. I hear that natural hair is for some people, not others.

I look at God and ask:


I twist myself, twist and turn, trying to shake off the slavery that somebody left on me. I turn my pockets out to let the photographs fall to the ground; slow, silent. Pictures they left in my jacket to show me how many shades glorious my skin is missing. Pictures to tell me that my nose, Nina-esque and incredibly present, is getting in their way.

But it’s my birthday today. I am coming out of the Creator’s womb, shameless and unexhausted. I am basking in the sound of the trumpets I have chosen to blow on the premise that this life is mine. I am meeting your smirk with a smile, Wangari-unbowed and Eartha-proud. See, I have found the oil wells in my living room, pumping sure and hard. I am in life. 

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