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These days are dark days. Show me your fears, and I will show you mine.
The song of defeat

The things that scare me are worse than
Stunted hair and tangled braids
Or the darkness that comes after lights-out
Or the uncertainty that comes with mortality
What I'm afraid of is much more than broken bones
Shattered hopes and broken homes

I'm not afraid of nails
So maybe I should die for my sins
Hang myself for being born in a skirt
I'm afraid of broken hymens
Of clothes torn in lust
Of the road that leads home past eight-fifteen
Of the hands that grope in the dark
The sound of blood pounding in my chest
The knowledge that I can't be free
The sleepless nights of terrifying dreams

I'm afraid to die before I live
My face
My biology
How do you fight after you've been defeated?
How do you hold on to a straw in the middle of the ocean?
When you feel like falling
Do you flail your hands and scream?
Or do you just fall
And fall
With no memory of how you lost your voice?

I will put myself out
Like a clown
I will make amusement of myself
Show me your fears
And I will show you mine.

Read this poem on Apple News.

Cover photo by Den Trushtin.

About the Author


Agbiri-onwu Chinwendu Elsie


Chinwendu is a student-physioytherapist and Varsity footballer at a Nigerian University who spends most of her time idolizing Celine Dion, writing in melancholic moods and arguing in favor of LGBTQ+