I am predisposed to better things
guilt wraps itself into the length of my tongue
I sound more British than my ancestors
the greener pasture is on the borders of the ocean
my friends often joke of our ancestors carried away as slaves
do not hate us for wanting to be colored instead of black
what I mean is here is hell
I dream of a blue passport
bluer than the colors of snow white’s blood
am sorry to think she’s British
only blue girls have the privilege to sleep & get woken up to castles
I have been awake my whole life plotting an escape
call me rapunzel with the thick hair
I have dissolved my allegiance to the green passport
a land full of green grass but I have been grazing on weed for so long
I can’t stay if I tried
people say the devil you know is better….

but this devil is cruel
leaves us crawling in blood of ourselves
of loved ones
of us
standing on the grounds of a toll gate
shot at
this devil is cruel
this devil is cruel
won’t allow Lazarus to dip water into our throats
suffocates our toiling
nothing grows here

I planted a cactus in my room
placed it by the sun and watered it
it died at the 12th month
I couldn’t mourn it
I was too busy mourning the spilled blood of my cousin
by a man who pledged his life to protect him
I am done with this shithole
what hell could be worse than
I do not seek your permission to leave
people pause and question my tongue
the mistake of a nurse blesses my pronunciation
mistake me for Ghanaian
for American
for anything else but Nigerian.


Photo by Alvin Balemesa on Unsplash