Love is a mirror. It reveals the beauty and ugliness within ourselves; every last inch can be traced through its honesty. Torn from the same threads of blood and flesh, tangled in the comfort of its warmth - he learnt to admire the darkest parts of himself, through discovering the light of another. Kai-Isaiah Jamal knows the growing pains of self-discovery well. His memories of growing up in Crystal Palace are glossed by the sweet nothings of estate life; the camaraderie of kid gangs and concrete sunsets.
Playing on the juxtapositions of identity within private and public spaces, his girlfriend Amelia Fearn photographs him in opposing environments. From the harshness of a modernist block to the ease of sun-drenched mornings in bed together. Inside are details that only a lover’s eye can truly convey; honest smiles and the vulnerability of time behind locked doors. Unclothing the white lies of modern life, Kai has reached a point of authenticity by speaking openly about his transition. With the ebb and flow of powerful poetry and spoken word, he tackles the issues of isolation and severed ties.
Amongst his peers, he’s earned the term of endearment 'flower boy', and it’s one he wears with pride. There is a softness in his demeanour and an acceptance of minds and lives far removed from his own. Unafraid to question the toxic limits of masculinity, he presents the optimist within us all. Although a tale of bravery, Kai finds peace within the mediocracy of daily life. It’s the touch of another’s hand that sparks you back into reality, or the fuzz on your upper lip meeting the lips of another. You’re not alone, and you never were.
Feel your grown ass face man, give your finger tips the grace of texture corse hair on your jaw. Lay on the floor and breathe for the first time. Inhale freedom and exhale pride. Hold your chest. Let your palms rest. The test is over, run over your tee. Feel it's horizontal straight lines. It's your torso, more so it's your correct torso. Stand to your feet, dance to bag lady. Remember your baggage as a baby, boy sip your past. Let it fill your bladder and flush through you. You knew you. Say your name, let the rumble in your Adam's apple vibrate your whole being until you elevate your whole being. It's the beginning because your sun has not risen. But it is time for your first morning. Sit in hues of your own smile, stay there for a while, now file your way through your documents. That M is your crown, be proud of it. Castles and wrapped parcels are kingdoms. Play hide and seek with your skin, try and not look for a min, and then peek at the peak of your member. Remember your dark showers and darker hours. Remember candle lit baths, and remember your bravery. Keep your binders. Keep them so we remember our slavery and the making of me. How I became you. Now realise why your nude. But you are not new, you are just you. Life was a riddle but we found us a clue. And we found us the truth. And I found you a boo, so you could buy her a ring with a stone one that is blue.
Words by Matthew Regan.
Poem by Kai-Isaiah Jamal.