Poem by Tapiwa Nyirenda, republished from the upcoming issue of ‘Lacuna’.

the weight of it all poured out of my eyes that night; i’d swallowed so much over the 4 years that

my seams had ripped open.

& it all just tumbled out onto my bedroom floor one night in November.

i remember the way the carpet grazed my knees as i struggled to scoop it all up, the bits and pieces i had left.

these were the remnants of myself that had escaped his sticky fingers.

looking in the mirror, i could see so clearly what he’d done.

for so long

i began and ended with him, my edges blurring into his own.

i couldn’t decipher which parts of me were mine & which had been carved in his imitation.

but that night, ties were severed.

the elastic bands that once held us together snapped

& in losing him, i too was left loose.

determined to own my mess,

i couldn’t call for help.

my mother didn’t need to see me scattered across the floor.

she’d spent 19 years building me from scratch

& i’d allowed another to penetrate my borders.

lost in brown eyes and his firm hold

i succumbed to his control.

but his occupation was too violent for my tender disposition

and i refused to be stifled in the name of love,

i understood that two bodies could not live in one.

For more from Lacuna, visit their website at

Cover art by Bunmi Agusto | Piece titled ‘Multiple Consciousness’


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