I am a gutted afterthought

meaning my skin slips like any other

unwound costume would

if given the chance

to abandon ship

and by this I mean sometimes

it is hard to not watch

me vanish like sometimes

I’d rather wave furiously goodbye

to the vessel than throw the anchor

overboard and grow

deep and downward.

I suspect it has everything to do

with being unfree meaning

I am everything that is unfree

which means everyone can see

these shackles I try so hard to hide.

I try so hard.

Please stop looking,

that is, I’m not waving

at you, I mean, look how fast

she’s running.

PRECIOUS MUSA graduated from Smith College with her B.A. in English and Africana Studies and a Poetry Concentration. She’s a poet, short story writer, and creative intellectual whose work often engages the inner life of the body, fugitivity, and the racial and political turmoil present in American society. Her writing aims to touch your pulse. Recently, her work has turned to her and her family’s Nigerian-American identity and the origins of that story. When not writing, Precious can be found thinking about writing or indulging in a Netflix marathon.