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A Black Man Searches for Peace At Home

I walk past that road everyday carrying that fog in my head
I can feel it this time clouding
into shapes blurry and indefinite —
a livid living mush up there in the sahel of my mind

Watery, crazy
amongst the crowding
of dry thoughts that stretch into
the fin-de-siecle of the horizon–
It is the burden of my monochrome self,
bestowed by boxing day friends who
laugh raucously when they say
they ‘d rather give me the carelessly wrapped black box,
bland white strings tied around it–

It is that road I pass every day:
that overcast eyes stare at me from
beneath the eaves of a shop, figure
that keeps me awake for days and
trumps my careless desires, the things I know I will have with time,
but not now mba–
the things that will not last:
like the night that enters surreptitiously into beautiful sunset,
it will come–come and go

I must be here with these mushy thoughts,
the visions of musty wards, with writhing
patients breathing like redheaded lizards
fallen on the wrong side of gnarled trees
in winding folktales that trail through time and space,
never waiting, never ending–

It is age that shatters the firm dreams locked in glass showrooms–
It is sloppy habit, it is the unhindered gripping-gropping hands–
It is a country bound for Doom, sails aloft there, t’gallant sails bloated by a frowning poltergeist,
storm imminent on the fringes of a life spent
hearing the weird sounds of stolen cash on TV,
like red-carpet stars you will never see–

It is these, these scorched realities
that motivate beauty seekers like me to fly away–
La belle, I have come to you heavy-laden
across this road I pass every day, with the jostles of my boiling identity,
the monochrome fog, mushy and indistinct,
your fresh face lines these quick memories like a shady boulevard–
give me rest here,
give me peace and wait for rain.

About The Author

Chimezie Chika’s works have been published in numerous journals and anthologies including Aerodrome, Brittle Paper, Praxis Magazine, The Kalahari Review, The Question Marker amongst others. His debut book for children, The Incident of the Dog is forthcoming from Griotslounge.

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