issue 2: oct 2015, Poetry
Comments 3

3 Poems by Rina Nkulu


And so were they finally cool?
On the screen are those faceless headless
pink bodies writhing in hi-def but no blood no
Coltranes or roaches no life no nothing
black water cracking against the syllables in
man overboard.

(Annotation: no more ulterior motives. We are all rap geniuses now.)
Were those history books better warnings than
Revelations? We watched them see in all those images they could manage to
and the dust and all that shit that belonged to us

began to tumble from their husk-mouths
with the red spray of laughter.

This is your room, flooded with light. From the ceiling
there hangs only a dark body and a silence.
A mirror, oblique.

cnn’s black in suburbia

Something happens and you don’t
say anything because you know what
it means and you know what it means
and you don’t say anything and you
don’t know what it means so you
don’t say anything, and some thing happens,
the wind whistles
loudly and through your head.

playing urban dictionary

do you understand, she nudges, and you nod. understand what it means, she means. cause i want to know. flesh-as-interpreter. you-as-right, not privilege; encyclopedia brown, but for real, and i want to know now so you open your mouth because you were taught to share, and she doesn’t listen to the words she wraps herself in.

Rina Nkulu is a Congolese-Filipina writer born in Illinois. Her work has been previously published in Duende Literary and Blackberry: a Magazine, and she is currently living in Arizona. You can find her on twitter and instagram. Illustration by Bich.


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