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Tope Sholola

United States

I am a 16 year old spoken word artist from Boston.

To the daughter my mother always wanted

August 18, 2015



I prayed at your altar,
Knelt at your shrine until my kneecaps oozed your gospel
Do you know how much I sacrificed?
I sand papered my scars fresh cuts and stretch marks
Prettied my pain
In honor of your perfection
Don’t you remember?
I memorized your eulogy at charm school
I thought of your doctrine
When acrylic nails and paper smiles
Would pierce my side
Force me to sit straighter
Hold my breath so I wouldn’t breathe too loud
Take up space that never belonged to me
I was taught to become non-existent quietly
So I resurrected myself in your image
I know
You show no kindness to martyrs
Who set their temples on fire
In the name of salvation
There is no beauty in sacrifice
In grinding your bones into stardust
So the world can make its wishes
Without choking
Goddess, I understand.
My laughter lacks the depth
To swallow sorrow
I am not beautiful
My skin is charred from dancing in flames
Threatens to consume me
Flick and flare around my feet
And turns my toes into charcoal
Goddess, have you ever seen your insides?
Not the soft pink of unpicked flesh
But, the crimson fountain that spews
After reaching inside your chest
Dissecting your body
Until you are nothing more than warm, wet, and barren
Have you ever tattooed failure to your thighs?
Cut so deep the blood and the razor were the exact same color
I know you haven’t
Your skin is scabless
It glows beneath moon light and glitters in the sunshine
Goddess, I know my existence is an abomination
But, you are just the girl
I have always wanted to be.

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