Prayer for the fallen flesh

Why run from your skin?
Yes, as a girl, you wanted

a last name long enough to not be
swallowed by the world. But you

have learned why the sound of daughter
ghosts through corridors,

a wilting echo
attempting to label fading bodies–

the silence in the word’s cavity
is how long it took for you

to love yourself. You are peach.
You are gold. You are all the names

white people have made up for the shade
of your skin. Their eyes are not your tongue.

Tomorrow you will put your yellow hands together
& you will recite this again.

 
 

Nadia Jo is a junior at Deerfield Academy. Her works have been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and they appear or are forthcoming in Souvenir Lit Journal, Blue Marble Review, Red Queen Literary Magazine, and Alexandria Quarterly. Nadia serves as a Poetry Reader for The Ellis Review and COUNTERCLOCK. A poetry mentee of Raena Shirali through the 2017 Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, Nadia lives in South Korea. You can read her rap blog at nadiaeugenejo.com and watch cello performances at www.youtube.com/user/NadiaJo3/videos.