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ODE TO ALUSHI | EMMANUEL GG YAMBA

ODE TO ALUSHI | EMMANUEL GG YAMBA

remember Charlotte, how she called
home wherever your foot find rest

remember the night before you left,
how you said this country is not our

home so you go to prepare a resting
place that where you are, I may be

also. the differing of our tongue is no
longer a scale to measure the sameness
of our blood

under the dark sky filled with silence
we listened to the language of our

bodies tired of being tire & howled
in hunger for departure out of a country

learning how to swallow its vomit. I
am in my head with you through the

Bassa Town bush, shaking our split
lips with dead songs asking us to

come alive as we break the arms of
trees gathering woods to prevent us

from freezing. remember how we
returned seeing everything strange,

there was fire enough not only to
warm our bodies, but also burn it to

ashes. hallelujah to rebels for
performing an unwanted miracle

our mouths grew heavier to words
as we sailed along the street

longing for rest. we didn’t steal,
we didn’t harass anyone, to take their

belongings and run away yet they
called us zokos because we couldn’t

afford new clothes. before you left, you
heard the voice behind the steering

asking why a black boy always write
about grief. you answered saying,

“give me a pen, I’ll write how the same fire,

we fetched wood for, took our homes away from us &
our fathers accepted the invitation of death through

sickness. Alushi remember how fate made us brothers.

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