by Amina Soulimani

This work appears in Khabar Keslan Issue 2. PASSAGE

Unborn—in a bleeding womb 

Bathing in a sinking cradle, soft and silent. 

A colonial hand fed me, or so I thought, as they spelled the words 

for my illiterate granny. 


The poetry that I held on my bare hands 

looked at me, and laughed. 

It walked slowly towards a regulating compass 

Half broken, half varnished, and tore it into pieces. 

It ain’t your tongue, it ain’t your turn —



And I stood there, in a liminal space 

tracing this skin complexion that whispered pain.


I engraved our maid’s lineal heritage on the footprints of those 

who claimed to own her, through the routes of Tombouctou— 

Those I called my people, never gave 

place to a rite of passage 

to succumb the mourning, 

of the unborn flesh.

Amina Soulimani is a 21 years old Moroccan poet, photographer and artist. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and African studies at the African Leadership University on the island of Mauritius. In writing, Amina managed to corral her existence into a precious prose narrative entitled “Beyond America” which can be read, lived and experienced. Yet, through her poetry and photography, Amina had been aiming to expand the dimensions of perception between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world through in depth research on various elements, such as language, that constituted identities and wisdom within post-colonial states.