“Panorama of a Coloured Race” by Iheoma Uzomba

Iheoma Uzomba


And time would curl in on us
make all roads beginnings
to an encounter.

So we’ll sing aubades
to being alive and unable
to live circumstance

unclasp the guilt
that circles us like sharks.

Everything too is coloured, we say:
starvation, dark brown
as lust in a man’s eyes

for a woman’s body, newly tanned.
Love, beige blue

as nostalgia when a country
tenders your skin for currency.

My hand reaching for a knife
in the dark is what colour again?

Names are coloured
just as bodies.

is to be black.

Place your hands into the night
and it disappears.

from Rattle #72, Summer 2021


Iheoma Uzomba: “I am a Nigerian. I share lineages from the south and southeastern regions of my country. Writing, to me, is lifestyle. I feel so because writing is not restricted to just a sphere of life: it cuts across anything and everything. It is like telling you, the writer, ‘You are God right now, yes, create this piece and then breathe life into it.’ I find interesting the themes of psychological imbalance, precedence, sexuality, dilemma, and disillusionment.” (web)

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