Khadjiah Johnson

Splitting Image

I sit down on the edge of the bed
With my father on the opposite
Pretending that the television
Is not glaring
I neglect its prance
Against my eye lids
I tell him
I don’t watch TV

                                        “5 day forecast predicts sunny skies from Monday till…”

It might seem unrealistic
To mention that the
Transceivers are waiting
For my return

                                        “An accident close to the turn pike is backing up traffic on…”

To mention that
I am paranoid of the secrets that
Lay behind enclosed pictures

                                        “Two black men have been taken into custody after being involved in…”

The moment I decide to pay
Their voice distends
The screen taunts me

                                        “2 of the 5 suspects of the rape of a eighteen year old girl has been
Identified near…”

Wanted me to inform me he knows
That I was once a teenager
Who forgave my
                                                                “The Brooklyn dad who ran away…”

Television knows it ain’t love that kept me
From snitchin’

                                        “But rather the fear that while his 18-year-old daughter was being
                                                                                Gang raped…”

With my father
In the distance
Knowing that this
Is his daughter’s story

                                                              “Dad was so drunk he couldn’t report…”

And seeing the reason why I run
From televisions

                                                                   “…were each charged with rape…”
I think each story
Is mine

                                                                          “…forcible compulsion…”

                                                                   “…but claimed it was consensual.”



               Into other bodies

Just so they understand that

               Could be bath water

As long as your filth

Is left behind


Khadjiah JohnsonKhadjiah Johnson is a writer and humor advocate reigning from Brooklyn who uses her craft to empathize and uplift. She is a Louis B Goodman Creative Writing nominee, the runner up recipient for the 2015 NYC Youth Poet Laureate title and her work has taken her to various institutions such as: The Brooklyn Book Festival, Pre-Emptive Education Conference, Lincoln Center, National Black Writer’s Conference and her Off-Broadway comedy “Cozbi’s Kitchen” was featured at the New York Live Arts Theater. You can catch her studying and occasionally teaching writing workshops at Brooklyn College in hopes of teaching her future students the difference between happiness and eternal joy.


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