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244 White Girl, Black Boy Tendai Rinos Mwanaka The human skin is now the only existing surface That has survived a history of cut and paste manifest destiny The dermis has become an interlocutor of presenting, as a surface It both jails, skyrockets the contours of the landscape and flesh I imagine, imagining my imaginations What if white is not? Really white! A smudgy pinkish colour? The black boy thinks: If I was really black, I might not really be seen Because I could hide things in my own blackness and if she were really white When she is being white, white as family tree white She wouldn’t see me, for she would only be the wind Light stripes of wind, pinned around my corporeal clothes Like cold tasting light, itself in the mouth of itself The white girl thinks: It is a black skin muddled, annihilated of its truth No more his own skin; crythematous-patches, necrotic tissuesindurated Skin boiling in its blackness The black thing always, wanting, needling… Getting in the way, Even now Like the deadly white of the sky She inherited the whiteness The sugar coating whiteness It is whiteness 245 As witness She thinks, and you can’t deny her that: This is the fire injected by history into my veins. A white horned hunger to live, as long as bacteria In this whiteness Whiteness as white-coloured white? The two, the white girl and the black boy, are talking of the cloudy of ice-cold that is always hovering on either side of this harness, the weave is the skin, which attempts to harness a centrality of spirit, and the rituals each of the two enacts to cipher it out in their relationship. But, I will do an Alice walker here And I imagine, with Walker, the psychic liberation of black if it understands Black is not really black I imagine, still with Walker, the exhilarating feeling of white if it could walk (doing a Walker with me) away from the caged feeling Of its body, in its own skins First published by Black Magnolis Literary Journal, it has been published by several journals, and it also appears in my collection, Revolution: Struggle Poems (Langaa RPCIG, 2015) ...


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