Those who dare to be different do not have it easy. In “Red”, U A Edwardson examines the ‘burden’ of being deviant in a world where everyone sways to the symphony of norms. He writes with such sharp lines that pierce the reader’s mind. If you have been wondering how it feels ‘to be who [you] are in a place that sees [you] as an abomination’, U A Edwardson’s poem would make an enjoyable read.

– Editorial Team

I wonder sometimes where we draw strength from, Whether from surrealism or the still resilience in our veins. We lock our hands in fire and we suck our thumbs While we burn and become ashes scattered within the glee we feign. It is hard to tell why we survive in this valley of thorns, Where our skins are churned beyond vanity, torn. We live inside the emptiness of the gap between passion and the dangers of giving ourselves to who we want to love. Then we cry from the hate the world returns to us— How many Christmases we snuggle, alone, our heavy bodies In the parity of our old lives and the walls around us that become the palisades and the fists dragging us into nothing. We become quiescent with the emotions that braided our soft hearts into ceramic caricatures to be broken, from our fears and the decisions we take because we do not wish to hurt the people around us, not even their ideas of what we are. We become red, full of love and hate and anger and bitterness, we burn in the fires we cannot quench because, We’re not afraid to live, but to live with hands that won’t touch us where we want, lips that won’t smile for our satisfactions, Because we cannot be who we are in a place that sees us as the abominations, because we cannot love who we want to. We become red, hiders, because we do not have a choice, And, even we did, we would let it fly with the wind, to quell shame.

About The Author

U A Edwardson is a student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, studying to be a Biotechnologist. He is a native of the Ekpeye Kingdom of Rivers State, Nigeria. He fashions his writing as the voice of his mind & friends (readers). He has works appearing in African writer mag, Ngiga review, Write now: A literary journal, Afritondo, forthcoming on Disquietarts & others. Catch up with him on social media @ua_edwardson (Facebook, Instagram) Twitter@eddiewatson31

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