How to half-ass a year’s review


1.

It starts with a regurgitation of prayers

My beginning foams to the surface of my body like goosebumps sprouting out of skin

I fall a great spectacular fall on ice and I want to tell everyone the story of it accompanied with a laugh, but my shoulder and left butt cheek hurt for weeks.

2.

To reimagine capitalism is to have hope

Hope in this government puts us all to shame

Voting feels like a boxing session to deal with rage

But after the release, the rot is still there

3.

In Black Mirror’s last episode of its fourth season – Black Museum – Dr. Peter Dawson gets an experimental neurological implant that allows him to feel the physical sensations of others so he can diagnose faster and closer to accurate.

Damn, this needs to exist!

This female body waits 11 years for a right diagnosis

I learn that for decades the male body was the standard for health and disease in medical research.

I want, for a second to be white or male or rich

Not for the perks

Only for the urgency and privilege

4.

A synonym for exist is fester

I fester in this realm

I’m fine is a knee-jerk

5.

My life is marked by an inconsolable longing for every breath to be impactful

Every sniff and sob

Every yes we can! and yes we must!

Every gain and ache

Psalm 56:8 cradles me to bed

6.

Pain remains in my body

like an intense desire that has no desire to climax

my brain absorbs it

my mind resists it

my body never stops protesting

7.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for the pain

8.

I teach my nephew how to tell everybody

that I occupy the space of both his favourite Aunt & Uncle

9.

In a phone conversation a mother chants

“no more surgeries” into God’s ears.

Motherhood will stretch you raw

10.

Made in Africa shirts and Africa is not a village crop tops

made by African millenials living outside the continent

are cute and will look great on me with red lipstick.

But I want to do more for home than use it as a prop

as a response to being used as a prop.

What a joy it would be to have all the answers

11.

I sometimes imagine Nkrumah as a millennial

Will he thrive in Fadama?

Will the healthcare system hold a brother down?

Will he be heartbroken?

What would he do differently?

Will he be able to afford 3 years rent?

Will he be a committed activist?

Small business owner slash entrepreneur?

Will he be wildly patriotic and leading revolutions?

Is this imagination a romanticized way of clinging to the past

instead of fixing the present?

Anyway, I digress.

What I really want to say is,

Where the fuck are we going as a country?

12.

Aging and friendships:

A tree shedding its leaves.

I am confrontational about my grief

Wounds don’t just dissipate into thin air

But after a while,

You learn to leave quietly.

13.

What I really want for Christmas is to be able to pair happiness with chronic

But I’ll settle for a fully paid health insurance and rent money

Alexa, play Money by Cardi B

14.

Black girls collaborate

Black girls persist

Black boys work hard

Black boys win some

#BlackBoysToo

#BlackGirlsSigh

15.

Fifteen is such a fine number to end half-ass things

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Small places


Mother tells you not to give in to fear and that God is in control.

Abena tells you there’s nothing to fear, you will feel no pain

Dee tells you that fear, in a way protects you.

Nobody tells you that fear can come from a small place.

You’re in a cold room with your arms spread wide apart and legs closely together, – all you need are nails and you will be ready for crucifixion.

Four of them are hovering over you, they remind you of houseflies that buzz around regardless of how many times you swat at them.

“Do we need to make another cut above the umbilical cord?”

“No this is fine, I can see the mass, it’s long and thin, I just need to grasp it”

You flinch

“Inject more anesthesia, she can feel pain”

“I have”

“Have you got it?”

“It keeps slipping”

“Use the Allis”

“Pain. I can feel pain.” You say throatily

“More anesthesia Jones. Are you afraid to use it? Use it please, there’s still a half bottle left. The girl is feeling the thing”

“Have you grasped it now?”

“Yes”

“Aha, finally. Now pull. More anesthesia please, she is flinching.”

“Oh”

What is it?

“It got torn halfway. I have to find the tip again and grasp it”

“Oh Jones. This shouldn’t take as more than 2 hours o”

 

Nobody tells you that fear can come from a place as small as overhearing commentary during surgery and fuck you over.

 

Growing pains


There is too much softness in me.

I wrote that sentence 6 days ago. There’s always too much happening in my head and some days I successfully navigate my way around the disarray. Somedays there’s a lot I want to write but I stay stuck on one sentence. I will most likely end up writing a small fraction of what’s floating in my head.

There’s too much softness in me; there’s too much passion in me, there’s too much of everything in me. It digs inside me, bores into me with urgency and has made me overzealous in order to appease this overflowing trait.

In a fairly functional world this should be a fairly good thing, – and most days it is, but it means everything I’m into engulfs me, I obsess over every detail, I adopt it intimately, I ought to know its contours, its limits, its deficiencies, its triggers, its potential, its future. And so I always have a chorus of amens and questions and resentments talking at and over each other in my brain. There should be a constant monologue in my head but there’s a whole play with different characters talking in the same voice. I feel crippled under the weight of my own brain.

I am learning how to use this too muchness for my own benefit – I know I can. I know I can do anything if I put my heart to it; it’s just that I haven’t had the will. I’m tired. My tired is tired. My tired has been tired for a long time. I want a long pause of nothingness for a while.

 

My birthday is in 7 days. This has to be the first time I have wanted to avoid it. I wish I could skip the day and just move to the next, but my friends aren’t having any of that.

Friends. I’m eternally grateful for them.

I think there’s so much we don’t say as people, for different reasons, – could be because of timing, or the headspace you’re in or fear or just being tired of having to spoon feed love language to people who should know better. There’s almost always a residue of things left unsaid. But I never want to miss an opportunity to love my friends fiercely. No matter how upset or disappointed I get, I don’t want to be an inconsistent flickering light. And I’ve been blessed to have friends who are exactly that for me. And for that, I’m going to stick my chin up and look forward to a new year.

 

 

30/30


There’s something about the way people leave

that makes you want to bottle who you are

and keep it safe from the world.

You have a brave face that only lets you rent it

for public appearances and old relationships

you plough the road of failing friendships

where awkwardness is an easy language.

And forgive everybody but yourself.

Forgive yourself for convincing yourself

you will never know a greater love;

for creating this architecture of doom

and living underneath its leaking truth

forgive yourself,

for there is overflowing love

lining up to engulf you.

29/30


The city is known

for looking like a work in progress;

For making therapists out of passengers

For the benefit of taxi drivers

For protesting and dismissing issues

in the time it takes for a baby to take a nap,

For telling fortunes and sending warning messages

disguised as public signs on the back of public transport:

God is good,

dzi wo fie asem,

no where cool,

nipa yɛ bad,

for sale,

dabi dabi ɛbɛyɛ yie.