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Friday Feature: Ka'Dia Dhatnubia

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

photo by Coco Hubbeling

With a B.F.A in Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Ka'Dia Dhatnubia works as a teaching artist for Deep Center’s Block by Block program, a creative writing and community leadership program for high school youth in the Savannah area. On the side, Dhatnubia has published memoirs with Blue Marble Review, poetry with Pandemic Post, and features with Savannah Magazine; she also freelances regularly for Do Savannah, connecting with the local arts and culture scene. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s stress baking, reading anthologies, or binging whatever TV show or anime she’s currently obsessed with. Follow Ka'Dia on Twitter and Instagram.

Purity, Promises, and Other Impossibilities

by Ka'Dia Dhatnubia

My 13th birthday

Was a rite of passage.

The women of the church,

My mother

Tugged the white ribbon

From my hair

And tied it

Round my throat.

They made me make promises

To God

And sign contracts

Where the fine print

Was in a fine script

That I couldn’t read.

The ribbon is a ring,

Once snow white,

Once polished silver,

Now sullied, rusted

By time and truth.

The ring

Burns the skin,

Chokes the bone

Of my finger.

My curious fingers

Confess sins and

Keep secrets.

My fingers, black rabbits,

Slip down holes

At night,

Searching for the wonderland

They called hell.


Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. TORCH has featured work by Colleen J. McElroy, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.


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