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Poetry Spotlight #2: Misa Makwakwa Masokameng

One of the most enriching, forward-thinking, fastest-growing online creative communities flourishing right now is the Poetry community, especially in those scenes that center on marginalized voices — Women, POC, Neurodivergent, and LGBTQ. Poetry Spotlight is a feature aiming to showcase the work of some of the most talented creators we’ve discovered making waves on the Internet literary circles, inside or outside the mainstream. On our second offering, we take a look at the work of South African poet, dancer and storyteller Misa Makwakwa Masokameng

 

Misa is a student at the University of Stellenbosch pursuing a degree in International Studies. She is an accomplished and award-winning dancer with a keen interest in the performing arts including, but not limited to, poetry and music. She also possesses a multilingual and multicultural background, with dual citizenship from South Africa and the US. Misa is fluent in English and proficient in French. As a digital storyteller, Misa launched her blog, Misa Narrates, in April 2016, with the intention to share the stories to connect black people living in Africa and the diaspora.

12 AM | October 17, 2017

 

The discovery

 

Never have I welcome the color red so warmly in my life
Weeks before I planned my big night, a devil red dress was already in my sights
As red as the apple in Eden, the color looked sinful and liberating

And so it was

Days before my birthday, I found blood
Dripping from my thighs, I almost cursed the universe
I wanted to cry “why”

But the color came as an opportunity to realize
I was undergoing a purge
My body being cleansed from within, from my insides

 

The freedom

 

All that is dead must leave my womb…
That made me think about the corpses of love affairs I stored there too

I saw the freedom the universe sought to give me
After my sacrifice and the dawn of my new year I would have a pure body

Untouched and unmarred by men and womxn

I would be free from all hands that aren’t mine
My body to become a temple for all that is divine

And since I have no god, nor a Nicene Creed to heed
I prostrate myself towards the Atlantic
I reconcile my spirit with the sea
I thank the water before and the water inside me

 

The understanding

 

So I’ve come to learn that red is the purest color
For it is through water and blood cells that I maintain my life and bloodline
It is through blood that I am made pure…made clean

It is through the purging and multiplication of blood cells that I will be healed.

 

 

 

Our dining room table

 

If (our) love was a garden,

and I was your rose, 

why did you unearth me, 

put me in a pot, 

and set me on y(our) dining room table as a centerpiece:

 

In a room without sunlight, 

Knowing I would wilt. 

 

While I was kept as y(our) centerpiece, 

what was growing in y(our) garden?

How could you use me, wilted petals and all, 

to nurture the budding love in y(our) backyard? 

 

Did me spine bend too easily? 

Were my petals not as bright as hers?

Did I take up too much of y(our) attention? 

When the sun beat down on you as you weeded y(our) garden, did you

feel like I was no longer worth the trouble?

 

Tell me: 

Did you dislike that I made you wait for me to bloom? 

Or did she give you all that I never could? 

I would have given you everything, down to my last seed, 

 

but you put me on y(our) dining table as a centerpiece: 

 

In a room without sunlight, 

Knowing I would wilt. 

 

 

 

Children of Eve

 

Give me your newborn son

So that I may teach him

Love

 

Show him a life that exists

Outside of his father’s

Ruins

So that I may teach him

Compassion

 

Show him how to be free

Away from the domination

That sired him

So that I may teach him

Music

 

Show him how to dance

To a drumbeat of his own

 

Give me your newborn son

So that I may make him

A woman

 

 

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.