safia elhillo's poetry

in khartoum’s bright yellow morning my grandfather brings me
the season’s first mangoes             & tells me it is time to come home
they are firm & green but on the inside all sunlight          i use my hands
& spill the juice all down my front            i fill my mouth & i do not answer

Safia Elhillo


*New Video* From Safia Elhillo and Aziza Barnes

at The Strivers Row presents “Black Joy”

“To the Girl In My Jazz Class”

What I Learned in College (After Safia Elhillo)

My body is a toy, and love is any man who twists my arm.

My body is stiff

My body finds men who are boys and calls them real

My body is everything they do to me

Love is a thing my body tries to make real

Love is a toy

My body is a boy, my body is stiff and love twists my arm, love calls the wrong boys men.

Love makes my body stiff and goes

Looking for boys who think that they are men

Love is imagination, my body is anything it can use

My body bends into uncomfortable positions

Love is the mind I have helped corrupt. Love is keeping quiet

Love is the opposite of being a man, love is just something to do

Until something better comes along.

My body is a collector’s item massed produced by a boy’s fantasy

Love is everything I can fit myself into

Love is the dust I’ve collected

Love is sitting on the shelf alive but playing dead

My body is allowance

Love is getting what you paid for

My body is one man’s junk

Love ruined all the fun

My body is the fun

My body is the toy

And love twists my arm

Love is the alternative to real

Love is a toy

My body collected dust

My body called the wrong boy a man

Love started the imagination

My body is everything that happened after

My body is a toy on the shelf

Love is an alternative to disposal

Love corrupts the minds of all the wrong boys

Love is one of the things that twist my arms

And my body bends