“Goodbyes” by Marthé Ndongala


I caught myself
being more
burgundy than lilac
painting my borderlines
with vivid golds.
smearing eyes
that once shadowed blue
with weighted browns
and watched as the
rivers crumbled
in my veins.
I was heavy with earth
and tried to
birth mountains
as my mothers before me.
collected sand
near my bed post
in wait
of a never ending storm.
the birds of prey
called with spirit song
in high notes.
shattered dreams
and window glass
in one
they caught me.
raising my hands
in surrender,
i chanted more
sullen songs
on lips unfamiliar with prayer
waiting for the dawn
to break and this
long night to be over.


Marthé Ndongala is Punch Drunk Press’s first Featured Woman Poet this August! She is a local creative residing in the Denver Metro Area. She works with various non-profit organizations teaching disenfranchised youth about writing, self love, and identity in the diaspora. Some of the organizations she has partnered with include Denver Children’s Home and SlamNUBA.  Born in Congo, Kinshasa Marthé believes in incorporating African identity in modern society by means of literary expression, videography, photography and other artistic expressions.  When she isn’t working with children, you can find her reading, painting, and learning Italian.  You can follow Marthé on instagram @m.t.nd.  Currently, Marthé is constructing her own brand as well as self-publishing a body of poetry titled Making Kindle Wood with My Mothers Legs.

Featured image by Paulius Dragunas

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