Geballe Prize Winner 2020 | Poetry, Imani Nothando

StanfordArtMuseums

Imani Ncube

Class of 2021

ushabti

Poetry


ushabti

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

lay my aching back near the river

and speak easy eternity over this body.

may I never again find myself on my knees begging

for mercy.

let sweetwater guide me home,

spooning honey into cadaver.

let dark matter consume my form,

spinning me into golden thread,

into folklore,

into sandstorm.

let me shed

this forsaken Black.

take me back to before this body.

take me back

take me back

take me back.

they have taken all my bones.

milked me dry;

can’t stand one more second

of this till and toil.

been walking dead for decades now

and I want to see the sky, finally.

I haven’t had time to cry since I was

six.

scribble my name and weep for me.

I am ready to float, finally.

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