For Boys Who Struggle Against Stereotypes
they told me my body is a casket of dead emotions
where i must bury loud hearty laughter
& embalm my tears to lie in state,
they told me my body is a zuma of rough edges
where i must sharpen the blunt edges
of my penis & implode the pain as i crawl through ages,
they told me my body is an ambulance
that transport the dread of rape
& trauma of same to and fro my entry to earth,
they told me to drown my emotions in bottles of beer
workout until biceps cover my scars
& drink every bitter pill thrown at me by girls,
they told me my skin is the colour of darkness
darkness, the symbol of sadness
sadness, the end product of my existence,
they told me to man up;
i’ve been manning up since day cradle
learning the wisdom of the moon but forgetting to shine.
i have no memories of my boyhood –
i’ve always been a man with a lonely boy’s soul
walking on broken soles.
By Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachi Anyatonwu is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachi is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.