How to articulate the feeling of love lost,

love separated,

a love divided by the seas,

split over generations,

a part of yourself elsewhere,

personhood defined by perpetual hyphenation,

perpetual twoness;


Always African-American,

heritage hyphen home,

home hyphen home;


Longing to reconnect,

to recreate,

to rebuild,

to reconcile this twoness,

merge the yin and yang,

mend what was once broken,

speak what was once spoken,

heal what was once beaten,

reignite a heart that was once beating,

re-empower a soul that was once speaking;


Yet so persists the twoness,

and I persist,

I persist,

I persist,

and I find, 

two sides of one coin,

two elements of one identity,

twoness ultimately grounded in,

one community.


Rallying Cry

There is power in storytelling,

strength in legacy,

power and strength,

united they stand;


United we stand,

with interlocked arms we stand,

in the face of adversity we stand,

when faced with violence,

with shackles and chains,

with hate,

still we stand;


And we continue to stand,

we stand until our legs give out,

until our knees buckle and break,

because this cause is our cause,

a just cause,

a moral cause,

one that should cause reflection,

action rather than reaction,

dismantle the system,

silence is complacence,

and silence we will not stand for,

we refuse to stand for;


The national anthem,

we refuse to stand for,

instead we take a knee,

head bowed,

one fist in the air,

never again putting our hands up.

Makda Assefa is a contributing poet, and sophomore in Timothy Dwight College. Originally from Ethiopia and Kenya, Makda is pursuing a major in Global Affairs and African Studies.