I. Chiropractor

Son of the land,
you are the first of them.
Your father, man of not-steel
and your mother, woman of not-steel
are breaking their backs for you.
You hear the cracking of their bones
in their weary voices over the phone
miles and miles away from you
and you are reminded still.
They need no chiro—you
You are enough to relieve these bones.
These bones that have known better days
like oloibiri,
like the wall of the ministries they have long served in
with pennies only enough for a magic trick.
The ache continues to ache regardless
as evil continues to perpetuate this government,
but you are hope in the land of the hopeless
Where they remain still—
tilling, back aching
singing, vocals failing.
dancing, blood pressure rising.


II. How to Be a Good Immigrant

You are African. Fullstop.
This is the first step to becoming
a good immigrant.
You are African,
Even if you are only certain of three North African countries.
You certainly can guess two more.
You are African,
Even if you have never tasted Ghanaian Jollof in Lagos.
You are African,
Even if you say, “my Ghana Must Go bag” casually
as if the phrase carries no magnitude, no history, no pain.
You are African,
Even if in your own country, tribes fail to get along.
Failure to understand yourselves—a governmental weapon.
You are African,
Even if tribal genocide is dancing behind you
like kids behind the reporter at a massacre scene
waiting for the microphone to be handed to them,
satisfied, knowing they will only be seen.
You are African,
Even if you know little about your family tree
talk less of summarising a continent
all for TikTok content.
How else would they understand?
You are African—
Until you pull out that green passport
and realise you are different; by association, a 419 threat.


III. Demon of Might

No one will tell you
that in the scarcity of riches
there is a demon you must wrestle
before leaving for another man’s land.
Denial denial denial.
This demon is only conquerable by acceptance.
Not denial.
Let him into you—accept that.
Accept that this might be the last time you
hug your mother, brother, and lover;
That they might die sooner than you can be reunited;
That for the not-rich like you,
the reunion might be a myth.
Accept that you might be too
busy securing your future, chasing a permanent residency
you might just miss their funeral.
The demon of might.





Photo by Changsu Im on Unsplash