Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa

Care for me like you would a leg injury


i would like for my presence to be a reminder you are
not as young as you used to be, you can’t just dissolve
from my questions & spit shot glasses. when you were sore

you grabbed your muscle, pulled, waded through denial,
then recognised being gentle leads to pleasure. i used to sleep
under glow stars with a teddy bear, ageing was unheard of:

it’s like when you break open a rock & find a fossil,
you say wow look at this old thing inside a strong thing
& i say wow how dare you discover change. it was alright,

everything lived forever before we came along, now time exists
i must acknowledge you will grow peppermint in your nose,
there are bodies of milk where your hugs used to be.

you have been very unkind lately, sometimes i worry
i might forget how much sugar you like in your porridge,
i beat it myself, i was a daughter once


“Care for me like you would a leg injury” won third place in The London Magazine‘s Poetry Prize 2021/22. Our Short Story Prize 2022 is now OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS. For the latest on literary prizes and competitions from The London Magazinesign up to our newsletter.  The above piece also features in our April/May 2022, which is out now. To buy as a single issue, go here.

Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa is a British Barbadian interdisciplinary poet, chiefly using movement to compose her work on the page and stage. Safiya is an Obsidian Foundation fellow and Apples and Snakes / Jerwood Arts Poetry in Performance recipient. Her notable commissions include writing for English Heritage, BBC Bitesize and The Wailers. In 2019 Safiya won national slam championships including the BBC Edinburgh Fringe. In 2020 she was awarded The New Voice in Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Page Poetry Prize and Creative Future Writer’s Award. She is currently working on her first full length poetry collection.

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