Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said,

Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them,

Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?

Exodus 17:2

Oxford, my god, I humbly come before you, robed A to Z

in the language you have graciously bestowed upon me

to (rudely, irresistibly) question your credibility and audacity

for injecting the blade of your word upon my tongue.

Forgive me, for I know not what I do,

so before you strike said instrument, I beseech thee,

quench my thirst for answers accordingly

for I have heard that the definition of life is only valid

once proceeded out of your mouth

but now I am uncertain of my existence

and like fish on sand, I am flapping about.

I am lost sheep perusing the faded pages you had scribes

scribble decades before, yet with everything I’ve learned

I desire to know more.

First, I’d like to know why my mother’s tongue

was replaced by yours when she crossed the Atlantic;

why building the tower of Babel caused babble across nations;

why water defies my power, spilling from these hands;

why man was made master of sky, dirt, and sea,

yet birds and fish can navigate those better than he.

Tell me the meaning of air and its invisibility,

and why holding a microscope over your origin is wrong;

why you are the chosen one for people seeking definitions.

Again I plead, have mercy on me,

my desire for answers is like a strained rubber band –

send me away and I’ll only come back,

knees bent before you and an offering of question marks

inscribed in the palms of my hands.

– Shanese “Sabali” Whyte 2015


Like the poem? Try da one yah.


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