When i was younger
i would reach far
to put my hand on bleeding hearts
to touch

my fingers cupping drops of blood
while my lips part
to form the word love

touching your heart so you could touch mine

these days
after lessons upon lessons
i learned
that i should not
reach out first

if you can see my blue veins
and pulsating arteries
extend your hand
palm up, like an invitation

if you can do that first
then, i will try
to open my fist
extend my fingers

lub dub, lub dub
touch my dub
and i will touch your lub

and i will stay with you forever
but only if you invite first


“Diaspora Blues”

“So, here you are
too foreign for home
too foreign for here.
Never enough for both.”

Poem: Fragment from “Diaspora Blues” by Ijeoma Umebinyuo from Questions for Ada (2015)