Words by Jahin, 20 NSW
From the moment I was born,
They cut my umbilical cord,
And attached a stigma instead,
A warm welcome to the epicentre of excellence,
At least that is what I was told.
When I gaped at the feet that were to walk,
An anchor dragged me along from my very first crawl,
The dark hues on my skin,
A deafening hallmark for dead expectations,
A need to continuously come up for air from the stench that I was told was coming from me.
Fingers as brittle as icicles that failed to melt no matter how hard the Sun tried,
I witnessed as my hopes tiptoed out of these hollow eyes,
Lenses that could never imagine sight outside of the copper cocoon that fades at every attempt of resistance,
A boy who is judged off of skin colour,
The inability to become whole.
I traced my icicle fingers across cotton bud clouds,
My mind forming a sepia picture,
Alien to the rainbow hues that glimmer,
A field of infinite wonders they said,
Fertile land for phenoms to grow,
But how can I spread wings when I was always told never to use them.
As I lay here still and stern,
Thoughts act as the only thing I can claim as mine,
Untethered and untapped,
A thunderstruck disclosure of reality that allows me to envision a sweet lake out of barren deserts,
A state of free-falling into a void that I can never truly call home.
But in this life that I was given,
I decide against feeling sorry for myself,
The joy to act is my only defiance,
I am the fire that rushes through veins when you run,
The sweat that gushes from hours of effort,
I joined the battered and bruised in the trenches,
Without any intention of escaping,
I made the leap away from what was sworn against me,
Belief intertwined within every blood vessel that travels inside of me,
The precursor that is sharpened every night before I sleep,
Until I get to the point where it is hardened enough,
To cut the stigma and bury it under the rubble of tears,
A promise that no other child shall ever be writhed with,
On my damn name.
Illustration by Aileen, You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc