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Rabih Ahmed

(c) Aslan Chalom



I am a Bronx girl
faintly fatigued from writing Bronx poems
& about the deficit in Bronx schools
that somehow creep up even after the accolades

Even in all the ways one can script words
across the page
the space is so expensive

Their words are doing trained somersaults & backflips
yet I feel like a homemade foreign concept
like trying to hug the hand
that boxes me in with its fist
trying to shimmy my thick thighs
& weighted stories into structures

& back into affirmations
that live through the snapping of finger tips
the elongated sounds birthing a collective hymn of admiration
the beating  of  heels
the catching of s p i r i t s
mounting us into living poems adorning the seats

These rhythms originate in my ancestry
they enter this realm at the horizoning of heavy
my truth is heavy like waves wading in water

Heavy like Bronx girls who never learned of couplets
& the ways they can carry love in between them


Rabih Ahmed is a Ghanaian-American poet and educator from the Bronx, who utilizes the rhythms and histories of the African diaspora in her poetry to bridge the lost narratives across the Atlantic. She was first recognized by the New York City Department of Education, where she was commissioned to South Africa to meet Nelson Mandela. She has performed her poetry at the Apollo Theatre, Nuyorican Poets Café, and throughout New York State and the diaspora. She earned a bachelor of arts in political science at the State University of New York at New Paltz. In 2017, Rabih created LOVE LIGHT & POETRY, with a mission of facilitating accessible poetry workshops to marginalized communities and illuminating poetry as a modality of celebration, identity exploration, and healing.

See full list of 2019 Emerging Poets Fellows