My Ancestors Send Me Screenshots

Tayi Tibble

We’re bidding farewell to 2022 with a couple choice excerpts from our recent issues. We think you’ll enjoy Tayi Tibble’s poem “My Ancestors Send Me Screenshots” from Issue 123. You’ll find a lot more poetry, including a second poem by Tibble, if you order your copy of Issue 123 today.

My ancestors send me screenshots of your group chats dissecting

me with all the science of your founding fathers and the sympathy of

your murdering mothers wanting to know who I am where I’ve been

and who I’ve been with. What the fuck is a whakapapa? Do I carry it

in my pussy? In a tiny baggy? Like a real 1? Like a down-ass bitch?

Do I have a heart? And does it bleed? Like a steak? If it’s brutalised

enough? If it’s served? On a plate? With proper silverware? And

presented to your queen still beating would she care? Would she

believe? Would she collapse into a frothing fit? With the knowledge?

Like a prophet? Like the rhythm of waves smashing up the East

Coast, and see? That all our cousins are locked up for growing

plants on their own whenua. For putting food in the mouths of

children. For being the mouths of children. With no homes, not

even the bones of homes to return to. Instead, souls get trapped in

subdivisions. They mooch around, kick Fletcher cones and let the

air sigh out of tyres. Au ̄e. And wait for the next good day when there

is no distinction between cement and sky. If you lie starfished at the

bottom of this rock, look up and let your eyes go swimming until

you realise that you are also in the clouds looking down like a god

and I see all. I’m an omniscient woman, just like my women, and my

ancestors send me screenshots. And I already know what you think

of me. I’ve known now for centuries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Captcha loading...