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1 poem
by
Victoria Mbabazi

Victoria Mbabazi is a Rwandese Canadian writer and MFA candidate at NYU. Their work can be found in several literary magazines including Rejection Letters, Minola Review, Hart House Review, and No Contact Mag. Their chapbook chapbook is available with Anstruther Press. They live in Brooklyn, New York. 

Sunlight

I am happiest in the morning and at any moment I don’t belong to anyone the streets are clear and everyone is going somewhere that’s going to kill them by five I meet my misery happily I have the whole train ride for mourning but this walk belongs to me

 

the main character today is a barista in skinny jeans heeled boots and legs to the chin ass immaculate all his strides are elegant and when I see him at night he walks the same but faster excited to put distance between him and

 

wherever he came from this morning he walks to rhythm of whatever I’m playing Yi sent me a playlist she says it'll heal me and it does as it’s told so far the poets I know are invested instrumentals the playlist starts with a classical piano when it plays I wait for an award

 

nomination to be announced I wait for tepid applause and a camera pointing at a bashful old lady who’s going to lose to Viola Davis and when Teyana Taylor starts playing I think about how you can’t teach tone and how you can’t teach voice and how you can’t teach soul and it’s why Black people are better than everyone else

 

I put the music at max volume I’m not interested in my thoughts since waking up I’m no longer interested in being wronged and if I belong to me I’m left with what’s left and what I mean is that sadness wants to hold happy’s hand and happiness is a reluctant partner

 

anger is getting between them and I am Black which means anger is not a feeling but a state I’m in it means that every other feeling needs currency and I never have enough for it sadness is the most expensive and I’m never resilient enough to earn it

 

I can’t feel it without weight and if it’s too heavy for me it’s offensive to someone else but I love the morning there is no one around to report to and the sun is embarrassed of its brightness the air is brisk and all the trees are happy to die in the morning anger is deep asleep and I get to be happy because it’s a feeling I’ve stolen