• Daniella Diaz

I didn't sleep in America

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

A poem written for and published in Peace Corps South Africa's Publication: Brooklyn Beat



Most nights I’d count the names of my learners to help me fall asleep

Ayanda

Bongani

Themba

Jafta

Busisiwe


1am, 4am, 7am, every morning I’d wake

and wonder why I can no longer feel peace on the land that birthed me.

Why do my feet walk in circles, orphans

Trying to find a home in the land that’s forgotten them?


1am, 4am, 7am, I wish I wouldn’t wake.

Because in sleep I don’t think of how

I spent someone else’s money at dinners

draped over family that wore me like their favorite mink scarf,

And Miami Beach brunches with friends laced richer than roofies,

to make me forget why I no longer belong here.


On my last day, I watched the sun rise over the ocean that used to whisper my name,

With each wave she left me scattered in between the shells that turned to sand.

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