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 __ is questioning my 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 take 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
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.