I remember my birth
like it was tomorrow, the unholy sensation
of abandon, accepted struggle
my mother’s womb a burning revolution,
promise on fire.
I do not recall the choice to be burning,
searching for skin in uncharted ground.
Before my skin, colour of handcuffs
became fodder and fuel
for a war I was born into,
clock hands pointing towards a verdict,
seat-belt light off
crash landing into tomorrow.
Mother bled a lament
we could both see tomorrow,
I arrived a blessing fragmented,
a dark-skinned schism.
My cry so familiar, it was heard in the past.
Ian Keteku, "Moment One" from Black Abacus. Copyright © 2019 by Ian Keteku. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: Black Abacus (Write Bloody North, 2019)