i found my voice

buried and hidden
in between
the crevices
of people’s desires.

unrecognizable at first,
i walked right past her.

she
called me,
compelled me,
demanded me
to finally stand still
and listen.

i dusted her off.

then she took me on a long walk
down a pothole-ridden street.
i cannot recall exactly where we were,
but the breeze resembled a Midwestern one.

she reminded me
of all the times that
i ignored her,
distrusted her,
and firmly pressed down
every sound that she struggled
to release from my mouth.

her temper rose…

she told me
that she was envious
of all of the other voices
that i’d used to speak.

none of them suited me,
she said.

she stood
directly
in front of me.

i feared
that her anger
would wrap itself around
my body and suffocate me.

she never told me
what she wanted
or why she had come for me,
but i knew…

i finally let her
collapse into my body
weaving and rooting herself
into my most intimate
thoughts.

one

i cannot say
that i fully
trust her –

but i am trying.

Writer | Professor | I write about identity, culture, and language. www.lakeyaomogun.com