Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Image source: Flickr.

My father plays a song aloud on Sundays,
that begins with ‘Where’ve you been my blue-eyed girl?’
We scream on the other side, the
next-door neighbor who is 65,
(steals our rain-water overnight)
and wakes to a full pee-bucket, the body of a whale,
and balls of fart, giggling their way out,
pours a barrel of curses after him.
We don’t mishear,
before straining our biceps by stretching,
and groan to drown out laughter.
Girls aren’t moulded to get amused
(at a man’s (in)convenience).

Someone’s father once made a portrait of my body burning.
Then said, ‘Never play couple with other street girls.’
He feared he’d hear me whisper to his daughter,
how, like a caged weaver bird, a woman
glued to a man’s skin, she was,
but patience wasn’t her by-word,
so she asked if I’d like my coffee black or milked.

I may never tell him about nights when I walked and crawled
over many misty mountains,
when we became ghosting girls hiding in unfinished buildings
to find god in each other’s bodies.
But once, two pebbles discovered asylum under her breasts.

The doctor said he saw a few more things, like visions of her
blood pooled into Lake Tanganyika,
waiting for more birds to drop pebbles into them.
I longed to tell him how birds should never have to
circumvent with stones pegged between their beaks
(vultures are men with skull-and-crossbones or preachers
or fishers of wo-men who love wo-men),
how a girl swiftly became
a rapid phrase on a saxophone,
a stick-sketch in an Other’s drawing book.

 

 

About the Author:

Chisom Okafor studied Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His works have been published or are forthcoming in various literary outlets.

Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s Tram 83 Wins the 2018 Peter Rosegger Literature Prize

fiston mujila mwanza

Fiston Mwanza Mujila has won the 2018 Rosegger Literary Prize in Austria for his debut novel Tram 83. Mujila was shortlisted […]

Psalm 151 | Theresa Lola | Poetry

PSALM151

Theresa Lola is a poet of considerable achievement. A few months ago, she became a joint winner of the 2018 […]

Opportunity for African Writers | Enter for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award

gerald kraak - as you like it

The 2019 Gerald Kraak Award is open for submissions. The deadline is 25 June 2018. Founded in 2016 by the Jacana […]

If Football Nations Were Rappers | Musa Okwonga’s World Cup Thread Is a Twitter Moment

musa okwonga - god is in the tv zine

Writer-musician Musa Okwonga last week saw a fun thread he started, “If Football Nations Were Rappers,” in which he matched football […]

Cassava Republic Warns Against the Deletion of Local Publishing Houses

cassava republic books

A few days ago, publishers Cassava Republic published on their site a trend in which Nigerian media de-prioritize the work […]

Crime-Writing as Political Engagement in Moroccan Literature

InstaBox_201861813422729

Among the best known Moroccan writers are Laila Lalami, UNESCO-Sharjah Prize winner Bensalem Himmich, Grand Atlas Prize winner Youssef Fadel, Prix Goncourt […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.