Decolonial Passage

Climbing Walls

Upper new York bay. uncle describes. he drives cab. knows all 50 states. he/says they are really 50 different countries. but one hate for dirt people/he’s supposed to pick me up. at drop spot.

Domino Effect

Tami Sawyer/Made loud, sufficient noise/In her hometown of Memphis/In marshalling together youth & elders/In removing the toxicity of ages.

Identity at the Round Table

When we come to the round table of literary discourse and are asked questions about our identity as writers of African extraction, what do we say in response to the query that questions our identity as African writers? Who is an African writer?

Certify This Land

Tell me protest fields will halt to morph into abattoirs every time/we demand for a sunny life, for a right to inhale and exhale, every night we want/to resurrect strangled justice from its grave.


Crossing the stage, diploma in hand, sole flapping loose from the plastic heels/my mother shipped to me for thirty dollars more than what they cost/lipstickless mouth unmasked for the livestream/my parents were watching nine thousand miles away

Don’t Come Looking for Me, Father

He accused Portuguese of being the “language of the colonizer” and defended the urgent prioritizing of the African “national languages” spoken in Angola. This was another of the theories that he considered essential for the future of the nation.

Coming to America

we don’t speak English/the taxi driver takes us/to the wrong town/the teacher/gives me a new name/which I hate

Best Small Fictions Nominations 2021

Announcing the Decolonial Passage Best Small Fictions nominees for 2021.

Where I Am From

Where I am from, we count nights and not days/by day, we become one with the forest to evade bullets/and by night we search for the biggest holes to conceal our bodies.

Pushcart Prize Nominations 2021

Announcing the Decolonial Passage Pushcart Prize nominees for 2021.

In Case of Fire

In case of capture/this poem is reversible/Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o wrote a novel/on sheets of prison toilet paper/The blank side of this page/is suitable for ink, or similar markers/Improvise as needed/and good luck to you.

At Heaven’s Anteroom

There/At the anteroom of heaven/The land of the Free/The wealthy kingdom beyond those mountains afar/May the eyes that see you want you/May they smile in adoration/By how handsome a soul you are.

Seeing Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez

103 degrees became a ticket for transfer/to Westlaco Border Patrol Station/a concrete block bench for a bed/thin mylar sheet for a blanket

Where did you come?

U come from/That flesh? Of which?/The one that mirrors your hue/Or, the one whose darkness seeps through?/Those wires that make up your being/are gradient sand particles aligned to the composure of one.

PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize Nomination

Decolonial Passage is honored to nominate Maria Luisa Santos for the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She is nominated for publishing her absolute first fiction publication with our magazine.

I Cry with the Sea

Every now and then I see her looking down at the waves/Their dance invoking memories/Warm days under African sun/when life was free.

The Aging Colossus

Cast your lantern in the darkened corners where injustice lives and where blindness-feigning Justice lies. Where children are stopped, searched, cuffed, assaulted, detained.

Best of the Net 2021 Nominations

Announcing the Decolonial Passage Best of the Net nominees for 2021.


Pretty comes in all shades of black.

The Divine

Wheelchairs provide freedom — however individual and/or limited by inaccessibility — to many disabled people. And insofar as divine beings represent or create freedom for some people, it felt appropriate to me to portray a god in/as a wheelchair.

The Road

The pattern of sounds was the only way the children could determine when to cross. Standing on the far end of the road. Looking over the railings. Timing the moment in which they would need to dash.

Black Girl With A Book

You’re smitten, with her sage-like words and intellectual prose/Yet you pretend, to be unimpressed, and upend, her, turning up your nose/But you cannot offend her, you’re threatened by her, and…she…knows

Between the Bars

Malcolm X said:/America means prison/For me too, O/My brother/America means prison

Yellow Comedy: a Parallel Poem

People call me yellow jack/Some hailed me as a yellow dog/When I yelped on my yellow legs/To flee from the yellow flu

This is the Drum

This is the drum that recovered myriad times/made of Cordia africana, stretched/over space, time and land, repaired/in Amerindian antelope and/deer skin, to begin again, uniting/the Akan, Virginian, Taino, and Carib.

Some Decolonial Notes on Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing

Specifically, decolonial theory calls for the re-membering of dismembered peoples, this means an action to re-humanize dehumanized peoples of the world, because decolonial theory appreciates that all forms of oppression thrive precisely because grand-dehumanization is their operative agent.

What We Must Do to Survive

They call it the ultimate tropical paradise in those ads you see but ain’t nothing sweet about it when all you do is work and still after all that work, there is nothing to show.

The War Mindset

The collective tragedy Eritrea wears as a badge of honor touched my family, too.

Crossing Borders for an Elusive Betterment: Filipina and Chinese Women in Japan

Underlying marriage migration is this idea of the geographics of power, and the differentials in mobility and agency between sending and receiving communities.