White America is an other to me. She is my illegitimate forced criminal adopted mother, so I am familiar

with her but she’s still an other to me. All the “images” I have of my birth mother are distorted.

I’m left with some of her fabrics. (My adopted mother constantly misplaces and misuses and “reclaims” them as my “rightful” mother). I wrap myself in the patterns as if they are sufficient enough to trace, replace the land i cannot hold instead.

I’m left with hints of her accent on my English tongue.

I’m left. No feelings, no lover, no body, no tongue, no scar.

Not enough images to conjure a scrapbook.

All I have are scraps.

I don’t have any photos of my birth motherland

I have no records of what I remember, or what was remembered of me.

I was born into oblivion

a broken lineage

separate points on a map

plots to disconnect

Perhaps the only home is this poem

                   The weight of this history

A baggage claim skin shame

Her voice aches under my skin

she screams onto my pages

breathes “decolonize” like sage onto every space I enter

I cry some obscure African soil and make my readers filthy

I am too afraid to meet her

A soiled child she may disown upon arrival