A Poem

By Anisa Umar

He asks:
How can you be black, what kind of black are you?
Why do you cover when this is Africa, you are Africa

Curls, curves and a history of leaving and being left behind
This is my black.
Here is the interview I failed when auditioning for my humanity

Where lay your forefathers?
In the water I said somewhere between Zambezi and Lake Malawi. I don’t know check Victoria Falls my great-grandfather fought the second world war, does that not prove I exist?

He asks, what is your race?
In the third grade, I didn’t know that I was black. The teacher asked for all the black children to raise their hands and I didn’t. By black do you mean colour? I’m a brown girl, the darkest berry, the sweetest juice. My great-grandmother still carries wood on her head, does that not colour me black enough?

Where do you come from?
I was born here.

By ‘here’ you mean where?
In the country where they burn men, men from home. My men. I have no home here, I am from here and there and all the places in between.

What is your nationality?
My ethnicity?

No. Your nationality
I am from the county not labelled on the map. South East from here. Drake said ‘young East African girl’, can I not claim that as my identity?