“Skin” by L Malik1 min read

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Illustration by Katya Roxas

I wrote one
million poems
not one featured
the word brown.

I scalpeled my own pulsing heart
excised all trace of spice or silk
stepped politely away
from ugly temptation,
sari-clad white women dislocating
pinocchial hips

Every poem I wrote
was a mudbrick and
with one
million mudbricks I built
a vacuum-sealed fort
we were left in peace,
my poems and I.

No one scented blood
in the mortar.

L Malik crossed oceans to work words on Adobigok, traditional territory of the Wendat, Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Her writing has been published in CV2, Canthius, The New Quarterly, Sukoon and FOLD Festival of Literary Diversity (forthcoming). She is working on her first poetry collection.


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