27


I could write about how bodies are the most malleable things

I could fill a page with how pain leaves words hanging in your throat

I could write a poem about the way people soften up

when their lovers kiss the small of their back

I tried to write something musical about my city and I did not know where to start

When I walk through south of Labadi, the streets are bursting with an abundance of heritage;

I can tell from the way the dark-skinned woman with the y-shaped scar on her left leg

scrubs her baby, that she is a woman who believes in redemption.

Two boys are moving like they’ve got too much rhythm in their bodies

and not enough time to dance it out

A little girl sucks on a lollipop, spits in her hand and offers it

to her small sister who gleefully licks it up

They have a look on their face that tells that they know

what they’re doing is ridiculous and sweet and terrible;

they know wrong isn’t right, but they do it anyway

On the pavement, a porridge seller is giving out smiles

like they are Amens to needy requests

A man is telling a stranger that he doesn’t even like porridge,

but the way she throws her head back when she drinks it down, does things to him.

And her laughter tumbles down like the hollow echo of a djembe

What he doesn’t know is that this her first laugh in days.

Old Ms. Atta has a tight lipped smile as if

her mouth is holding on to sins yet to be forgotten

And when she sings Awaaba Ɔdo, she means it.

These people teach me,

that if you are from Accra and you placed anywhere in the world,

there’s no way you won’t know how to bloom

 

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