I feel as though a snake’s skin shrouds me,
I can’t wait until it sheds,
paper thin flakes of sentiment depart,
I left it behind on the table of a house long forgotten,
Aqal Somali they call it,
I yearn for a life I’ve never known and will never know,
Yearn for the touch of tongues of my own blood,
Yearn for the understanding of a generation once removed,
Removed from home as they were,
by the sound of bullets and by festering, untreatable wounds within.
Even though they are the survivors,
it rings within my own ears sometimes,
Like the sound of endless waves lapping softly at feet crusted with salt water.
When I see faces of my own,
I wait a beat, a second beat, a third beat and a fourth,
I wait for souls of shrouded skin
like east African sand.
I wait to be recognised by the land that chewed them up and spit them out
into cold black seas and winter nights in Heidelberg–
Kismaayo. The humid heat of day time slumber–
Mannheim. The birth of a child,
I look around and see the faces of those who saw their people slain.
Saw them impaled on walls of iron, blood crusted on mosque walls,
like abstract art.
The smell of betrayal, of rotting entrails, starvation, of emigration–
The sound of a dial tone brings me back,
It all went straight to voicemail.
ASHA NOOH (Photographer) is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She captures spaces around her with a focus on Landscape Photography in her hometown and other cities. She uses photography as a way to escape the busy day and to express herself. She is working on expanding her craft into film and graphic design.
HODO DARWISH (Writer) is a 20-year-old Economics student. She is a poetry enthusiast who aims to address topics such as displacement, diaspora, and equality within her writing. In fact, her inspiration for poetry stems from her late grandfather Cabdullahi Muuse, a renowned poet within the Somali community. She aims to one day reside in Somalia and make a lasting impact through working with NGO’s and locals to empower and equip the next generation of leaders with the necessary tools to rebuild their home.