Some days

Poetry by Jay Kophy

you’re allowed to have days when you
feel like dust is the only thing you inhale
when you draw breath.

when you feel like you’ve been carrying
a cemetery on your tongue.
that is where you always bury your voice.

and your eyes are filled with more tears
than dreams.

when you feel like your voice
has taken a vacation because
it’s tired of screaming at a mountain
that doesn’t seem to move.

when you feel like you’ve forgotten
how to be alive. and your body
has become an abandoned building
people seek shelter in when it rains.

you’re allowed to have days like this.

because even the sky has to get dark
before you can see the beauty of the stars.


Whenever you ask me if you look beautiful

I want to say this in the softest
language. I have learnt how to speak.

whenever you ask me
if you look beautiful, I want to tell
your heart that beauty is an element
present in everything. within the universe.

I want to show your eyes that the days
it sees something as ugly are days
it is truly blind.

I want to carry that question
off your tongue, so it can have
more room for words that sound
the same way honey tastes: pure.
without fear to speak for itself.

I have to say this in the softest
language. poetry has taught me how to speak.

whenever you ask me
if you look beautiful. I want to swallow my voice,
point you to the stars. and tell you
how they shine despite the color of the sky.

how they still glow in the day. because they don’t
need to wait for the night to tell how beautiful they are.

Jay Kophy is a Ghanaian poet and writer whose poems have been published by kpodola, Kalahari Review, Eunoia Review, Filmore’s Floor and many others. His debut anthology ‘By the Fireside’ has been published by Libros Agency and can be found along with some of his works on twitter @jay_kophy.

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About Tampered Press

Tampered press started out as a conversation on creating more platform and visibility for writers and visual artists in Ghana and Africa. While blackness has become more noticeable now than in the past, and more space is gradually being created at the table 

black as an identity is heavily nuanced and has to be dissected and carefully documented. African artists in particular have fewer platforms. Our experiences, mannerisms and culture often have similarities, but our style, design, creation and content are different.