Tom Swinnen

By Sahana Kapumba •



A transparent liquid that is drunk and swam in for recreational purposes


60% percent of my Black body


If we already have so much why do we need more?

Why do I need to overfill myself with this colorless liquid

If its been in my body for almost 13 years, why do I need more?


The very source of my life is becoming my demise

This so called necessity is questioning my very identity.

The way my skin turns white ash from vile transparency


Do you know why everyone thinks POC can’t swim?

It’s because slave masters made sure that their property couldn’t swim to freedom

If they tried.. Well

The water would take care of them


When I was 8 years old I couldn’t swim

When we went to the beach I would stand where the water reached my nose

My siblings and cousins would go farther because they could swim

I remember my cousin pushing me forward

Not giving me time to take a breath before splashing into the deep blue

On the way home I remember thinking of all the sharks and jellyfish that could have gotten to me

But never the water

Our strongest enemy is living among us

Our most unlikely foe is always with you

But this transparency will not shake me

The colorless substance will not become me


Sahana Kapumba is a 12 year old African-American who has been writing poetry for almost a year.