Graffiti By Kechi Mbah


i’m first discovered in the exhale of a baby-faced reflection
in some anticipated movement we call arriving at womanhood
fastened to the speed of his words:

my new


is living


i hold myself through sideways glances
soften in brief fixtures with unfamiliar eyes.

to be a beggar, i believe
is to unhook oneself
to let a want, hunger away your presence

which is to wish i’d never begged before
never lost myself / between / the breaths of my own trembling voice.

so once a new world wants to give
i’ll try to keep what’s mine

outline my haves in different places
neon down a steady washed skin

in an attempt to say
i must to decipher more than silence
spray all of this
along the exhale of then and now.

so today’s awash in memories
and i’ve vandalized the mirror.

*“my new existence is living graffiti” comes from Tongo Eisen-Martin’s poem, I Do Not Know The Spelling of Money

By Kechi Mbah


Kechi Mbah is a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School and a Houston native. She first found a love for poetry when she stumbled upon a YouTube video of a Brave New Voices slam competition in the fall of 2019 and has been performing and writing poetry ever since. Her poetry explores many avenues from making the known strange to chronicling her experiences as a Nigerian-American and the histories of her people. She currently serves as the 2021 National Student Poet of the Southwest and her work can be found in Blue Marble Review, The Incandescent Review, elementia, and elsewhere.

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