Writing to you feels sketchy, like I am trying to paint a picture of a kind of formlessness I cannot grasp. Maybe I am not used to writing everything into something. Maybe it is the wave of guile breathing free around me – freedom is a whimsical thing. My palms are tracing patterns of untold stories and I want to tell you that the leaves in my compound dared flying too close to the sun and free fell abashed. I am marvelled by the burnt brownness of the yellow bushes, the lengthy intrusion of the masquerade trees – is there even such thing as privacy, when the clouds stare bleu into my nakedness as I peel lingerie from my skin? I woke up this morning like a log and my bones stretched like stone, water does not quench anything except the combustion of suppressed sentences submerged in my throat.
I want you to read this knowing that I paused punching my keyboard midway because of a notification on Instagram – it was CNA, wearing an artsy T-shirt that affirmed her ancestry & I wonder if we ever get the chance to be the original of ourselves, if reality is true or if the world is founded on a lie we chose to believe in – if there is an afterlife. Maybe the earth is a stage and all of us are just drama queens! Life and death are similar forms of undoing.
Now, I am trying to make my body elastic, this routine requires me to imagine a bicycle and paddle my legs in the air to the utter disemboguement of the fat walls in my belly, that shit burns! I have taken to walking & I find that there are loud silences with every forwarding of my limbs. I like that the wind knows me and has the fortitude to shrink my afro into a bulb, but I want to ask you what else you achieved from walking between Dandora to Bangla besides your destination. I ask because I want to find home for my nothingness, I want it to swim in a room full of meaning.
You said I could write to you about the moon, about the currents in the ocean, I imagine one as a bowl of dim light and the other a liquid blanket over the earth, both of them swallow light, both of them conceal, both of them form stillness in the gut of the night.
I want to explore the complexity of memory, how contorted and distorted lived experiences can prove, how heavy it can flex on the brain. There are some I have carried for long days – like the memory of my uncle unfastening his belt at the mercy of a con woman, I passed like a shadow & was present like a storm when he told his wife he had gone to pray. I carry both the genesis and the revelation of this betrayal. Do you ever feel hunted by the memory of the madman you saw at Kilifi whenever his image flashes through your senses?
These days, I am unearthing myself, coming undone with loss as brittle as rose petals; I am looking at the complexities that have made me simple, gearing at the drowsiness in charge of my insomnia. Sometimes I am begging for rest & other times I am wanting to be riled up. I want to coil into the arms of anything ready to give me a tooth of attention & lest I forget, my cabbage turned purple this evening.
Roseline Mgbodichinma is a Fiction Contributing Editor for Barren magazine, a Poetry Mentor & Alumna at SprinNG, and an NF2W scholar in poetry. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Native skin, Isele, The African writer, Hellebore, West Trestle Review, JFA human rights mag, Indianapolis Review, Artmosterrific, Kalahari review, Blue Marble Review & elsewhere. She blogs at www.mgbodichi.com