I watch you
as you peel away the skin
of the paw paw fruit
Each slice slips away like your
hopes and dreams did
Resisting the force at first,
but succumbing to its doomed fate.
It was not the first time
I had watched you,
But it was the first time
that you saw me.
You looked at me and asked,
what is it?
And my heart bled for you.
This four walls had been a coffin to your soul
To your dreams
To the shine in your eyes
clouded by years of soot from the firewood
so dark that you don’t remember what it ever looked like.
You have buried your confidence
in the oven, and offered it to him.
Your tears streaming down
with every thrust to the mortar
until the salt mixed with the yam.
All for a man
who sometimes forgets your name
who licks your tears mixed with his soup
who eats your sweat swirled with his garri
Who sometimes confuses you for the woman down the street
when his brain is clouded by alcohol.
What is it?
Oh, but how can I tell you?
Can I look you in the eyes
and tell you that
I hate you and love you at the same time?
that I resent you for the way
you have become a Nok figurine
You remain kneeling
drying up each day,
With cracks all over you
that I am afraid
my words will shatter you to dust.
I love you, I do.
But I cannot remain with you.
I have your smile
but I do not want your weakness
I have your head of hair,
but I refuse this worn-out heart and so, I must go
before I too am choked up
With soot from the firewood.
Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash