AND SOMEHOW THE MAN ON CNN IS ASKING IF JEWS ARE PEOPLE, a poem by A.K., featured on Life As Activism

by A.K., Featured on Life As Activism

and horns crawl like an apology out of my skull;
my tongue splits in two and gropes the air
in front of my mouth. I need two tongues, you see.
One for me and one for my grandmothers.
One for Yahweh and one for Shekhinah.
One for the body and one for the blood
they would have you think was theirs.

How can I be a person
when I bleed for a month and don’t die,
and am not a woman? How can I be
a person when my body is a closet
for other people’s mistakes? Spit-
shined lie. Grave in a dress. No-
body’s daughter. Sentence
fragment and sentence-
d to be eaten alive, slowly,
by their own fears.

I am breaking pots in bed,
hissing and praying to prove
a stranger right. Let me be
a nightmare garbed in skin,
let me be a void big enough
to swallow every hand built
only for breaking glass, let me be
whatever I need to be to keep
all my nonhuman loved ones alive.

A.K. is a writer, performer, youth worker, and anti-violence activist from the D.C. area, currently living in Boston. Recently, (she/her/hers, they/them/theirs) competed on and coached Oberlin College’s nationally ranked slam poetry team, and wrote and performed a one-person piece about her relationship to home. They have also served as Split This Rock’s Poetry and Social Change intern, and have completed two poetry residencies with students at Langston Middle School in Ohio as part of the Writing in the Schools (WITS) program.


Image credit: Erick Lee Hodge

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