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A Case of Cold Feet (after Beloved) by Basheera Agyeman

My womb spoke to me last night

Told me she was afraid

Afraid to bear black boys

Afraid to bear black girls

Afraid to bear black anyone into a white man’s world.

She told me it’s not worth it anyways

Told me black boys were much more likely to piss on you when you changed their diapers

and that black girls were much more likely to give you sass and talk back even after you have explicitly forbidden both.

She told me she had heard

it hurts to give life anyways.

That if I was not careful —

She would open up her seams to birth some tiny, pretty things

And that unless by some miracle they arrived the color of cream,

They would not be

completely mine


About the Author

Basheera Agyeman is a Ghanaian-American Muslim student. She is a senior at Washington State University double majoring in Comparative Ethnic Studies and French. This past winter, Basheera was named WSU’s first Campus Civic Poet. In addition to performing spoken word and engaging in activism, Basheera is a student mentor for the African American Student Center as well as President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, WSU chapter. After graduation she is looking forward tobecoming a writer, scholar, and an educator. She also hopes to continue engaging in movements against social injustice.