It is Hidden by my Skin

by Dorcas Magbadelo  (2nd Place 2018)


I wrap my arms around you,

Just a harmless friendly hug,

You flinch away and warn me,

You do not lean into my touch,

I know better than to love you,

With the lava seething in my veins.

The plague that fell a thousand souls,

And then fell a thousand more,

Hidden by my skin,

Lingering within.


I came to pay a visit,

but suddenly you’re not home,

It seems the time we used to fritter,

Has suddenly turned to gold.

I told you all about it,

You have now turned so cold,

This divide between us,

Makes rivers leave my eyes.

A chimera lives within me,

It is eating my insides.


The plague that fell a thousand souls,

and then fell a thousand more.

This plague chips away our friendship.

Hidden by politeness,

It is crippling my dreams.


The medics said I’d feel better,

The medics must be wrong,

All the tablets cannot fix this,

It seems it’s all gone wrong.


Do not speak to me of kindness,

You know nothing of the darkness,

You mouth words and unfurl banners,

But leave me waiting at the doors.

Secluded and divided,

I live my life apart from yours.

With the plague that fell a thousand souls

And then fell a thousand more

Hidden by my skin

Lingering within

And yet painted on my forehead

And tattooed on my cheeks

By each sneaky wink


Cuts on my skin,

They may bleed but will surely heal,

The scars I carry on my heart,

Are from your scorn and from your tone.

I stand ashamed before you

I truly must have sinned

If this Deity of viruses

Chose me to live within.