a golden shovel, after Ocean Vuong

I am told I look like him; the
man I had thought I’d become has a face
I have known, though not
wanted, nor believed to be mine;
holding stoicism in its crevices, it is distanced by age but
still renders my own portrait, a mere one
part of its legacy. With this, I
have resolved to will
myself a life beyond it, no matter how long the paintwork’s wear.

Part of SAWTI Zine Issue 1
Eljae’s poetry centres on the doing of relationships, and the ways in which we make ourselves as people. Featuring at nights such as Boomerang, Brown Sugar Movement, and Poetry and Shaah she has loved every second of her poetry career so far. Previously published online and in collections such as, I Know Two Sudans and The Colour of Madness, along with the upcoming Azza fi Hawak, Eljae is excited to share with you these two pieces, on her grandmother’s unnamed lessons and her own recollections of finding home in otherness. Her next step is to publish her first pamphlet, which she hopes will invite you to understand how she has created herself.”

Photography by Mwanzo L Milinga