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Monday, March 2, 2020

Black Bird 5

I wanted freedom and for my sins, Peace Corps gave it to me. 

I have so much time on my hands that I’ve started tearing metaphors out of mint teas that aren’t quite deep enough to dive into, yet I do. 
With every stroke, I get a sugar high that convinces me I am right and everyone else is wrong.
How dare they not know better?! 
I hold my breath even when I come up for air because I know that if I breathe in, I’ll remember I’m just like them - trying to do the best I can with the tools I’ve been given. 
But when you are on a self-righteous springboard, empathy is the crippling angst you don’t need. 
There is a difference between humanizing your foe and justifying their actions therefore, it is entirely possible to have empathy for people you wholeheartedly disagree with. 
On my better days, I can see why an African, who doesn’t believe he is an African, would be so offended by my existence that he would call me the n-word and try to assault me. 
I can see why someone can be an LGBTQ+ or POC ally but not an ally for Black People. 
On those days, my tea is hot enough to warm me without burning my tongue, minty enough to refresh me without leaving a bitter after taste and sweet enough to comfort me without the threat of diabetes. 
On those days, I’m swimming freestyle, breathing, sharing, caring, taking care of myself and those around me. 
Remembering that hatred needs no branding, it is cheap and gets in the way more often than it makes a path. 
Anger is necessary to do the work but so is the patience to educate, the empathy to realize that some people just don’t know and if I want change I will occasionally have to painstakingly give to the very people taking from me. 
It is unfair but if we don’t tell our stories, share our pain and tell others how to treat us, how are they supposed to know if they’ve never been taught better? 
If they don’t know to seek information from the same resources that we do? 
I know what I know because I experienced it, was taught, was told I don’t know everything and encouraged to seek information from all sources, especially those not in my purview. 
How then can I be mad at someone for not knowing this, without trying to share my experience coupled with what little I’ve learnt? 
Sometimes, we need to be the fire that burns down evil but most times, we need to be the flame that lights the way and warms hearts. 
These are painful lessons I’m continuing to learn and I still don’t get it right all the time, but I’m making peace with that too. 

So maybe, the freedom to ponder isn’t such a bad thing because as much as I love being in water, I don’t even know how to swim!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Tick Tock

You’ll be fine
I’ll be fine
What is it they say about time?

It always runs out.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Black Bird 4

I am legally American
Biologically Ugandan
And Culturally Nigerian
I fit no where and everywhere
Everywhere is diaspora
Yet everywhere is home
I miss home every second of everyday
Because home is multiple smiles
And hearts
And arms
And houses
And cities
And countries away
Separated by the ocean
So I’m never quite home
It’s incredibly sad
Yet titillating
Because I am constantly surrounded by my people
And home is now wherever I make of it
So
Here I am
An American Peace Corps Volunteer
In Morocco
I am home away from home
In every sense of the phrase
and it’s oddly comforting 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

My life in the uncultured lane

I'm not one for small talk
And I'm usually well behaved
But I tend to prattle when I'm nervous
I talk about puppies and poetry...
People I know, and people I don't know
And how I wish I had longer hair
And how the color you get when you mix pink with purple should be called punk
And how pumpkin pie is better than pineapple upside down cake, but not by much
And how I generally love people, but I like some people the way I like my coffee... in small doses and far apart
And how I once grabbed a handful of what I thought was my ex's butt, but it was the butt of a priest
And how I was once chased out of church by a man with a stick
Because I wore shorts and he swore I was a sinner
And I am, but redeemed by grace
And while I'm not proud of most of my behavior
I promise I'm working on my poise
 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Careless

My love is quiet
It will not grind on you in a dark club where the music is too loud and everyone is too touchy but will reach out for your hand at a poetry slam when it locks heart with a sonnet
My love will rarely drag you out of bed for company but kiss you on the shoulder at 6am then head to the living room to finish a book
My love hates small talk but wants to know your deepest thoughts
My love doesn't try to be the life of the party, it strives to be kind the loner sitting in a corner
My love is not loud
It used to try to be, because that's how the movies and music videos and mills and boon described it
But at the cusp of 32, my love has learnt to be itself
Quiet
Steady
Reassuring
My love is not loud
If loud is what you are looking for
It's okay to bang the door on your way out

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Prerogrative

Look at paintings and have too much time on your hands.
Sleep in.
Work long hours.
Or don’t.
Spend time with family and friends.
Pray.
Or don’t.
Love.
Say no.
Say yes...
give yourself permission to indulge in whatever feels like freedom.
Think.
Feel.
Or don’t.


View from Chupa Cabra during a race last night, it felt like freedom!



Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fluently Us!

Mom no longer asks what I’m up to
Not because she doesn’t care
More so because she can’t keep up, and she doesn’t approve of half of it anyway 
The fucking nose ring and other possible piercings she doesn’t want to know about
Sky diving, sailing, country hoping, moving all the damn time, not dating the senator’s son, not getting married, not giving her grandchildren, not calling her every day.

Mom no longer asks what I’m up to
Because she knows I manage to take care of myself 
Having control of my body, trying new things, exploring the world, not dating assholes, saying no to proposals that only fulfill social obligations, not having children for the hell of it, not calling her everyday. 



Mom no longer asks what I’m up to because she knows that through it all, I love her the most and always find my way back to her. That will never ever change and that’s all that matters, everyday.