A poem by young Zimbabwean Rachel Chido Chitsungo contributes to the #IamABLE campaign with her poem to get your poetry caps on:
As it touches the skin
Touching the senses within
It alerts something deep…
And then it spreads.
Like a wild fire, taking everything in its path, it spreads.
Like poison, slowly moving through my spirit, it spreads.
Like death in a vine, taking leaf by leaf, it spreads.
Out in the open I bear my soul, undefined
Heart aching, yearning for a touch, yet undefined.
She walks past me back to the wall, defining
He spots me, crosses the street away.
Then she comes along confidence exuding.
So close, so close, I just reach out to touch…
Her hand. I touched her hand, just touched it.
It spread from her finger tips, to her shoulder…
And from her heart it came out
The repulsion, the disgust! Defining me? Defining me!
“IT touched me!” she shrieked.
As I touched her skin
I touched her senses within
Something deep in her spread through her.
And like a wild fire; like poison,
Like death moving through a vine,
It spread through me.
I was IT. And it was not human. It was unwanted.
It spread through me…
And it stigmatizing me.