Enigma

Andrea Thompson

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Who I am

depends on which side of my skin

you stand on.

 

In here

it’s all neurons firing

synapses telling stories

blood tracing ancestral histories

races blending in veins

truth obscured by memory.

 

Inside is all flux and flow

stillness and storms

contradiction –

and at the heart of it

 

just another mammal

wanting to be loved.

 

Outside is all vibration

rubbing up against eardrum.

Someone’s mouth pounds out

enigma.

 

My mind tries it on, pins it

itchy like a label on my lapel

 

and wonders

if the skin over bone

wrapping around this self

distracts

sends the other off

 

to question, not who I am

but what?

 

Andrea Thompson "Enigma" from A Selected History of Soul Speak. Copryight © 2021 Andrea Thompson. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: A Selected History of Soul Speak (Frontenac House, 2021)