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4 min read

Two poems by Aaiún Nin

Aaiun Nin, Angolan spoken word poet and artist, was born in Luanda but currently lives in Copenhagen. Nin’s work touches on themes of racism and sexuality and it is an ongoing examination of pain and trauma in a style that challenges a traditional use of language. In July, Aaiun Nin was denied asylum in Denmark. Danish PEN, among others, has engaged in the case in order to put further pressure on the regime to change its verdict and instead offer Aaiun Nin permanent residence.

Credits Text: Aaiún Nin October 06 2020

Black skin in the forsaken outback of the world
both concrete and jungle in varying states of decomposion and men in a corner

ordering girls to smile s:ff with rigor mor:s all bones no flesh

girls in prim clothes going to school going to church going to graveyards in prim clothes Stone eyed

missing teeth blue-black skin huddled together bathed in molesta:on.

The first dying.

In a mass grave
a blue-black shaddow is born.
In a room smelling of kerosene lamps To women in their fourth dying
and men sing outside drinking beer. Holographic.
Horror makes the body transparent. Fobidden flesh
perpetua:ng un-becoming
algor mor:s
the long fallen
broken screens

Going to school
where a white god is nailed to a cross
promising paradise
abandoning the living
knowing it’s the dead that teach us how to count.

Heavy hands of grown people

Covering their mouths. Scream in silence.
The first dying.

Body is a body

Body is a bodyFlesh is not yoursGrowing flesh of adolescence. Unripe flesh ready for picking.

So we grow
holding hands with the reaper.
Dispossessed from body and land.
In makeshiJ homes
dele:ng the human part of ourselves.
Funnelled through algorithms
where numbers and leMers are the same
where numbers cancel out names
and news of dead black people
makes us spin with no god to welcome them into paradise. Un-bap:sed corpses. Unholy flesh.

Heartbreak is stoned-face
fingers on the trigger of whatever shape a gun will take shoots in the dark
esc+delfigh:ng against the will to live.


Subjugate the law of false nature. reemagining happiness
a black happiness
filled with sorrow

too many fucked up memories of us as children
going to school going to church

going to graveywards
in prim clothes.
Funeral wear.
whipping joy into existence
the bones of the hopefull dead raMling in their caskets
cheering on from beyond the abyss

bodies in a circle hollering Some:mes smiling. Smiling s:ll.

Maybe out of hope ardent wakefulness

that some of us
can s:ck to the first dying
push against the second third fourth hold on to whatever flesh is leJ
call it our own
s:ll smiling
maybe out of delirium


Souls wandering around chained to a system that disallows us to look beyond the green notes, Like death feels good.
Chasing aJer paper
that polishes the sharp toothed smiles of greed whilst we grind on that minimum wage
broken down field niggers in blue collars,
In this world

Where we are s:ll monkeys with less humanity than the animal, In this world.
where bullet holes on brown skin spark no outrage.
In this world

Where children play along dead bodies holding meth pipes In this world

The whip cracks on the school to prison pipeline
In the mass incarcera:on and perpetual genocide of the brownskins
in the destabilised regions across the world
that set the scene for a colonisa:on that never ends.
From the missionaries that give us old T-shirts and bibles
to the tragic caricatures of the people they have codemned with a promise of salva:on then tyrannise the meek us for the sake of righteousness,
For theirs is Earth to inherit.

For ours is Earth to inherit.
In this world,
where we have been punished for sins we have not commiMed, Brutalised and silenced,
we're s:ll here,
Heartbroken and enraged,

we're still here
We know what hellfire feel like we're still here

'Cause we too resilient to bow our heads, not in this :me
Not in this life
'cause our deaths are no coincidence And our rage will not go unnonced

S:ll victorious 'cause we didn't perish. Coming out of this black pool,
Throwing our heads back, laughing
and be set in determina:on to keep going looking death in the face and say

We made it, We made it...

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