What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

33280160.jpg– I’ve often thought that being a light-skinned black woman is like being a well-dressed person who is also homeless. –

– When my lover and I fuck, we fuck with the fear of the world in us. We are fucking on the edge of a cliff. We are fucking death right in the ass, and death loves it. We are fucking our own deaths, and our mothers’ deaths, and the deaths of our friends and the deaths of our rights. –

– Dirty and inconvenient, AIDS was a disease of the people, I thought. Cancer, to me, was the opposite. Its cause was endorsed and healthily sponsored. –

– This was the paradox: How would I ever heal from losing the person who healed me?

– A ghost is not a fact in itself; rather, it is a symbol for need.

– My mother is dead. But I still see her. But I still feel her. I can still hear her voice, even right now as I am speaking to you. –

– But why do “African” and “contemporary” have to incommensurate? Why (and to whom) is it appealing to think you are in another city besides the one, in Africa, that you are in? –

– The truth is that motherhood is stained with blood, stained with suffering and the potential for tragedy. –

– Pain can be a disease in itself. –


The interview / review for the Sunday Times.


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