PHOENIX by Ijeoma Umebinyuo


One day,
your bones will get weary
of men
who refuse to worship the God in you

On that day,
you will either slit your soul
or gather your spirit
leaving any man
who has never called you



how your mother kept her bones warm
on nights your father was far away.

do not love a man who keeps you clinging
to the pillow for too many nights.

Stay away
from men who peel the skin
of other women, forcing you to wear them.

Remember how your mother struggled
to find her skin in the pile.

Do not
scratch your words,
soften your pain or scrub yourself in shame.

Do not
drown yourself in a man.

He will leave you struggling to breathe.

Today is World Poetry Day. I thought I’d share with you a poem from one of my new favorites. This poem is from the book “Questions for Ada” which has me tripping with every poem. If I could, believe you me, I’d share all but you can get it here.


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