I’ve seen hunger. I’ve seen it in the popped bellies of children begging in a Haitian village, asking for an extra shirt to add to their collection of one. I’ve seen it in the streets of Accra where scavengers prowl the streets with outstretched hands and scheming thoughts. I’ve seen it among the Ewe drums in Dagbe, where men sleep like babies upon concrete slabs and roofs are thatched with old straw. I’ve seen it in a one-room shack in the hills of Appalachia, the stench its own brand of security system. I’ve seen it in the grey trickle of water that was the life source of Dominicana. I’ve seen it in the fidgeting fingers of lost souls admitting addiction in Philadelphia. I’ve seen it in the eyes of strangers as I pass them by, their challenging stares eating away at me, absorbing some of my nutrients, my soul, as they whisper abruni. Do not tell me what hunger is. Do not tell me I could never understand. Those nights in Ghana, West Virginia, the Dominican Republic, Pennsylvania…I was a part of that hunger. I was the reaching fingertips, crusted with dirt and dried blood, I was the open mouths, dry, lips blistering in the hot sun, I was the stretched skin fighting to contain malnourishment, I was the hollow gaze that greedily gobbled the sight of privilege, I was the tattered cloth that clung desperately to coarse skin, the only fibers that would make that human contact. Do not tell me what hunger is. I’ve seen hunger.