After Safia Elhillo
one way to know you are agitated with so much is to feel the contours of your bedroom squeezing in on you like a morbid condition — a private execution without an executioner. on facebook, i micro-blog a lot about reins & nigeria & the silliness of it; about the many things that can kill me. but death is not one of them. i mean, have you ever woken up in the middle of the day to find the world starring in a film noir? & the heat, a prelude to a more hostile plot in a land of infractions? just ask the enumerators how many prejudiced persons it takes to make a country, & you’ll be surprised with what numbers they can provide. in real life, poems don’t do much except freeze like obscene photographs of the world they’re trying to save. this is why i try to detach myself from all worldly affairs, recluse enough to smoke my favourite cigar on a moderately wet Saturday, binge-watch family dramas, & still fall in love with the sound of my kitchen knife biting into the hard skin of a perfectly round onion. last week the papers were black with the hustling darkness that still lurks in my country’s highways & alleys, & mute with the finality of doors closing in the government’s throat. show me a lover who isn’t tired of thirsting for a nation’s aphrodisiac love that never comes. screw the selectively available justice, the underhanded shit, the side effects of foreign policies & the rhetoric spells. screw the graceless list of civil disturbances, red with the bewilderment of blood. here, i pledge adherence to my safehouse, to afro r&b beating out of speakers. to the swift whirl of my ceiling fan, & to the softness of my mattress. i pledge adherence to the floral arrangements of trees outside my window, to the quiet swish of liquor. i pledge adherence to the tendering of everything i hold serene.