Call us boy

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Our  head slammed on a wall “gba!”

and again “gba!” … and again “gba!”

Come, come and see,

as we dance to fire dimmed,

dancing,  till our names grew faint,

till we dared not speak it.

Mirror mirror on the wall,

it hurts when we are painted in red

They said we are taken by demons.

No, no, not the demon husbands

who came knocking for our sister Uloaku,

those ones drowned in the Niger river.

We remember sister in fragments

like a body caught in crossfire, we remember ….

Get out of this body O ye agent of darkness!”

“gba!” “gba!” “gba!”  We remember … What is our name?

Mama’s demons served one meat in his soup.

And when he drew salvation on her face,

she sang, “Our father who art in heaven”

she danced, to the jingle of fists lined in gold.

she prayed, to her messiah

And did he answer?

“gba!” “gba!” “gba!”  Who … What is a messiah?!

Whatever breathes in us wears a gag.

Once, we took it off,

just once, we wore our sister’s dress.

Father tore it off our skin,

he tore it off our bones,

he tore it off our soul.

“gba!” “gba!” “gba!” 

We  lie on a kitchen floor,

clad in nothing but our strength …

Wear your jeans boy!”… “Satan will not have you!”

Ihezue Somto Onyedika is a poet living in Lagos. He loves the smell of rain.

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