Moment One

I remember my birth

like it was tomorrow, the unholy sensation

of abandon, accepted struggle


my mother’s womb a burning revolution,

promise on fire.


I do not recall the choice to be burning,

wayward archeologist

searching for skin in uncharted ground.


Before my skin, colour of handcuffs

became fodder and fuel

for a war I was born into,


clock hands pointing towards a verdict,

seat-belt light off

crash landing into tomorrow.


Mother bled a lament

we could both see tomorrow,


I arrived a blessing fragmented,

a dark-skinned schism.

My cry so familiar, it was heard in the past.

Bibliographical info

Ian Keteku, "Moment One" from Black Abacus. Copyright © 2019 by Ian Keteku. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Black Abacus (Write Bloody North, 2019)


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