THE POET X x BLOOD WATER PAINT
Amina’s father believes silence is safety, but she is her mother’s daughter. Her voice is her weapon, words her shield—and they carried Amina’s mother until her death in Sierra Leone. Amina knows the power of speaking. But when she is sexually assaulted by her pastor, a popular community figure, she finally understands her father’s silence. Amina has to find her voice again, confronting her abuser in the courtroom and her heart—and call him by name.
Told through non-linear free-verse and mixed-media with tonal similarities to HBO’s I MAY DESTROY YOU.
The morning I spent in a police station,
remembering all that I have forced myself forgetful,
is a morning I felt smaller than a whisper.
A day I remember for my confusion, my father’s rage,
and a world full of presumptions.
I began the process of making small
of everything that has tried to make a wreckage of me.
In front of a county detective
and a lukewarm water, I sat
wrestling with a story that the world
would rather listen to, while proclaiming the truth
that once seemed bigger than my
Nobody tells you what it’s like.
You hear about the spotlight,
the coffee-stained breath,
but nobody tells you about the stares.
Eyes so judgmental,
you may have to convince yourself
that you aren’t the one who committed a crime.
If I remember anything about Detective Walbrook
it would be her adult acne, messy dyed hair,
and her wrinkled uniform.
All of which are easier,
than focusing on sharing my story,
while my father sits next to me.