july 28

will i remember moments like this, standing on grass, the sky yawning over me
swahili beating out of speakers, dancing with a crowd of strangers
wondering how love has done nothing more to my body other than deform
the left side of my chest
will i remember brooklyn, the shocking beauty of a lighted train
running above ground and against the sky, before night wraps around fulton
an old woman kissing the bus driver’s cheek
green tennis balls poured over the courts on malcolm x
a little Black girl i do not know shouting adios amigo as she crosses the street
the smell of a roti shop, silk sliding on my arms
yellow kitchens, guavas and parathas
a white box fan whirring in our last summer

From Content Warning: Everything by Akwaeke Emezi. Copyright © 2022 by Akwaeke Emezi. Reprinted with the permission of the Permissions Company, LLC. on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.