3351280282_276ac83882_o

…you are going to change the world…and it shall not be owing to the beauty of your face, or of your body, but
to the words that your intellect conjures out of vacuity.

***

What do you do when the one person in the whole world that is
supposed to tell you that you are beautiful doesn’t really think so?

You believe her.

Not right away, though. No, sir, not at all.
Right away, you get pissed. You deny it tooth
and nail. You construct arguments in her defense,
and you persuade yourself that it is mere drollery.

But eventually, you learn to believe her.

You believe her because she has never lied to you.
You believe her because she knows something that
she doesn’t want you to discover the harsh way, and
I know that your naïve young mind cannot concoct a
situation whose harshness would outshine this one’s,
but really, she is protecting you from the sorrow that
you will inevitably be subjected to on the days you are
out with your conventionally attractive friends, and
everyone but you is propositioned outright for a date,
or a dance, or perhaps intimate banter shared against
a trite yet romantic backdrop. The same one that haunts
your dreams on nights that demand only a singular glass.

That is not the day she wants you to believe her.

She wants you to believe her now, while she is still here
to tell you that it does not matter, because you are
going to change the world one day, and it shall not be
owing to the beauty of your face, or of your body, but
to the words that your intellect conjures out of vacuity,
words that hit millions of homes, barely missing a target.
She wants you to believe her now, while she is still here
to tell you that even though it may appear as if it matters
a great deal, you will feel otherwise when you engage in
conversation with a room full of strangers, none of whom
are able to take their eyes off of you as your mouth opens,
you lips move, and sentences that strike them harder than
any pair of lips or eyes or legs or breasts ever have before
are produced. They will stagger and stammer in your company,
since you don’t fit the character sketch of the type of woman
they envisioned themselves falling for. But that was before
they had encountered your insightful, mind-stirring opinions,
your confidence-exuding gait, and a smile that rarely falters
on account of the argument that all things unfortunate that can
happen to you have happened already. Onwards and upwards.

And if you still don’t believe her, give yourself a little more time,
because you will certainly believe her when you turn around and
spare a glance at the extensive trail of hearts that you both broke
and healed at the same time.

The day that happens will be the day you believe the words your
mother said, the same ones she had heard when she was sixteen
and wondering why she was everyone’s last choice on prom night.

 

 

**************

Post image by Helga Weber via Flickr.

About the Author:

portrait-priyamPriyam is a 20-year-old student of Advertising, but she spends most of her time weaving stories and consistently seeking ways to make literary contributions. Her work has previously appeared in places such as Germ, Efiction India, Thought Catalog, and Mogul, where she is an Influencer and a Global Ambassador.

Tags: , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “A Truth Best Told | By Priyam | Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Hannah 2016/12/15 at 05:24 #

    This is powerful. Your words and sentences struck hard. Thank you.

  2. Suniel 2016/12/16 at 10:42 #

    Quite meaningful, original and fresh. Thanks.

  3. Pinky 2016/12/16 at 10:47 #

    This was intense and fun from beginning to end. Great work!

  4. Shazzam 2016/12/16 at 10:47 #

    This poem is a brilliant insight into the mind of the poet. Thank you for making my day with your poem.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The Reviews Are In! | Namwali Serpell Has High Praise for Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

Screen-Shot-2017-09-20-at-4.57.42-PM-e1505944728679 copy

Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu is one of the hit novels of 2017. A historical drama, it tells the story of an 18th […]

New Website Collects Everything Binyavanga Wainaina Has Written Since the Late 1990s

A new Website has collected everything published by Binyavanga Wainaina since his writing career began in the late 1990s. The […]

Opportunity for All Writers | Submit to Vanguard Literary Services’ HIV/AIDS Awareness Anthology

To mark the 2017 World HIV/AIDS Day on December 1, Vanguard Literary Services, a bookselling company in Nigeria, has called […]

The Graywolf Press Africa Prize Launches with Igoni A. Barrett as Judge

igoni a. barrett

A new award just dropped: the Graywolf Press Africa Prize, for “a first novel manuscript by an African author primarily residing […]

Nnedi Okorafor Celebrates Everyday African Life in New Superhero Comic

okorafor comics

A little over two years ago, South African Sci-fi writer Lauren Beukes collaborated with D. C. Comics on a Wonder […]

Redemption | Andrew Aondosoo Labe | Poetry

7019805185_c41d073551_o

A Pastor says the devil landed here in ‘77. His broken legs can be seen in the twin-rivers. Three-eyed demons […]