Brown girls’ anthem

by Fathima Zahra

A Golden Shovel after ‘Call Me by Your Name’ by André Aciman

We die so many deaths before we turn twenty. We,
the schoolyard Kardashians. We sew our stories, rip
them out as the schoolbus pulls up at our door. We out
cast our vile tongues so the aunties won’t. Scrape it so
they won’t know where to look for nipped buds. So much
is lost in undoing shame. Before we learned glory, we talked of
our love lives to walls. History didn’t erase us. We managed ourselves.