Upon My 43rd, Despite Everything

Aaminah Shakur
1 min readSep 11, 2017
New tattoo, gift to myself. Artist: Sarah Scott of Honest to Goodness Tattoos & Piercings

after Lucille Clifton

come celebrate with me

this life I am fashioning

out of despair tinged with

the strangest most unworthy hope

blessed with many a model

who all died too young

born into Babylon

on ancestral lands stolen

just as I was taken from them

Red and Black

Queer and Crip

I defied assumptions

saw myself in everyone

and in no one

I made my self up

and still do so every day

here at the border

knowing I belong in neither land

belonging to the sea instead

She takes me by the hand

tells me to wait a while more

my peace is not just yet

my work is not yet done

come celebrate another year

around the sun

another year I have survived

though every day there is

something from inside

and some things from outside

that tried to kill me

but they all continue to fail