Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I don't need anyone to distract me from myself anymore.
I love the ones who look at me and know without a doubt that I'm in an illicit affair with myself and I'm standing on rooftops and dancing on beaches and yelling at the grooves of myself
I do not want caresses under the cover of the night
I'm tired of whispers, of subtle. I want loud.
I want the sun.
The night is not romantic anymore.
I'm too old for nights, for stars- those fuckers are dead anyway.

So here's to 24, be better and kinder to me than 23 was.


Saturday, June 13, 2015


On that first night when we crammed all of us
into your back seat
and tried to rub the melanin off our skin;
you traced your tongue around the arch of my back and called me magic.

your tongue has become a practiced prayer i say to rid myself of the pain.
you're lying on my bed humming into my skin
because we have nothing to say to each other.
i'm using you for metaphors and similes for love,
tearing pieces of us to reclaim a part of me that has forgotten to write since...
well, since.
you ask me about work a million times because really when our mouths aren't full with each other,
we remember all the ways that we're going to regret this.
i shouldn't be making a home in another's body
but you pull me to you at 2 am and suddenly i don't know what to do with my legs
i haven't stared at them and wondered how high they can jump since you came along.

love shouldn't look like a scrawny, skinny boy who laughs into my skin and doesn't know what to say to me after his lips leave mine to draw breath
i'm not afraid of being moved anymore
but this is not love or the beginning of it

my therapist thinks i lie to her,
i do.
she asks me if i've thought about hurting myself or anyone else,
i say no and that's the truth. i've learnt to transfer the pain into a sea of dark skin.
she asks again if i would ever consider drugs,
i say no. you can tell she's come to the end with me.
i don't have any anecdotes to tell her,
i'm supposed to be happy. i don't fit.
i bore my therapist.

i get to decide who i share this temple with.
the last person i let worship in it burnt it to the ground.
so you get no fire, you get no fuel.
you can stay and pray till you get tired of the silence and leave.

when you stumble out of my bed in the morning,
i smile and wait for the shame to come.
and each time it arrives,
i'm reminded that i am indeed a Nigerian woman.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I'm not here to talk you off that ledge

on days when life is especially hard
and living isn't cutting it anymore
on days when you stand waiting for the subway,
and have the sudden urge to jump.
on days when you find your ledge and decide to take the plunge
i do not intend to talk you off the edge
you have such beautiful long legs
made for jumping into things that were never going to last anyway.

i understand that you have waited endlessly for tomorrows
but there are so many people waiting
against all logic for tomorrow to bring us something the yesterdays forgot
and we are all waiting
and i understand that you're tired of waiting
and you're so tired of just being

And you just want tomorrow to bring you the strength to get out of bed.
To brush your teeth,
Call your mum,
Be able to say you went grocery shopping.
That you talked to people today
That your brain is behaving itself today.
That the demons didn't come this time
And you don't really feel the tears coming down anymore cos you're so used to it.
And life doesn't let you get up before knocking you down again.

I can write a line or two to convince a lover to stay
I have laid on white sheets
And let the sun find me between yellow arms because I needed to tear metaphors out of the skin of a five year-long one night stand
But I cannot figure out how to ask you to stay.
because i understand that the sadness has refused to leave,
but there are too many ledges with too many beautiful views for you to choose this one you're standing on right now.
so call your mum and let her voice guilt you into staying another day.
and then another
call your lover and let him tell you how his day went
walk to the coffee shop with him and stare at the way his fingers simultaneously kiss his lips and the pages of that book he insists on telling you about.
call your friend and let her tell you about that boy you hate but she won't stop loving
talk to yourself and try to find reasons for you to stay-
you never really read "The Alchemist" and you've been pretending for so many years;
you've never had an orgasm;
Coronas exist;
i never want to be one of those people telling you to "choose happiness"
i've always thought that was ridiculous
because if we could all just "choose happiness" wouldn't we all?
and i cannot promise you that it'll get better.
we're all entirely waiting for better.
And i'm really not here to talk you off the edge
because i know first hand how eroding this darkness can be
but when the demons return,
set them on fire.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

The audition

You get a call announcing that you've got a call back
So you wait and pine and rehearse 
And look forward to the day 
You carefully pick out your clothes
Think through all your witty remarks 
You're sure you're ready
You're sure you'll get the part
And you're not even auditioning for the lead character
Any minor one will do
Or maybe an understudy
An occasional night performing for a real audience 
So the day comes
And he shows up at your door
You're just so ready with all your answers and opinions
And that joke you heard from your coworker that you're going to pass off as an original
You talk about the music playing
You're pouring out all the acting chops that you've learnt and mastered all your life.
This might be it.
The big break.
The one everybody talks about.
All the things you're supposed to feel
Oh the things you'll feel
So you get to the movies
That's 2 hours that you'll have to smize and send out good vibes
Cos there's no talking at the movies
And you hadn't considered that.
So you sit there
You don't want to be that black person.
So you watch the movie
And you sit there for those 2 hours thinking of the books you could have read, the songs you could have stayed home and swayed to.
But no, you're at a fucking movie.
And the movie ends and the audition begins again 
And you laugh and jest.
But he drives you back home.
Drops you off.
Hugs you and smiles;
Says - let's do this again.
So now you know, 
You for sure aren't getting a call back from this casting director.
But somehow, you're okay with it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tarnished Parts

"this love is so new, it squeaks and shines 
and lies a little bit,
got secrets and shit to hide
a little bit"

- Zora Howard

We will drink beer 
and try out restaurants 
and make reservations and 
dress up for dinner. 
you will giggle at my feistiness,
you will find all my faults adorable and endearing. 
we will sit on the same side of the corner booth and hold hands and touch each other underneath the table. 
you will find my scars beautiful, worth exploring, you will find the possibilities of me endless.

you will buy me cheap white dresses that barely cover my legs
and we'll try to make out in poorly lit hookah bars
against doors
while the whole world barely lends us a look
your mouth will bend my name into barely heard sounds that flit past my ears.
your teeth will explore and bite at places the sun cannot see
you will want me, all bold, all black, all skin and bones
all dark and terrible
all sinful
all drenched,
all wet,
all shaking.

i have tried to obey the saints and the apostles
but i have run across the rain with you
and explored your lips in unbelievably beautiful places
and places that were breathtaking because you were there
and i was there
and the day was yellow and beautiful and smelled like Awka after the rare rain at the peak of harmattan

i'm new to this,
this reawakening and longing of a body.
i have stood on ledges,
on train platforms,
and fantasized about taking another step forward.
so hold me, while this love is still brand new
while we try to convince ourselves that we're not just stopping by for a moment.
lets pretend that we can be normal lovers,
waking up to each other
you drinking coffee; me telling you that coffee is terrible for you.
lets pretend that this is forever before you get to the tarnished parts
the small towns on this body that were burnt down and colonised before you reached this land

your hands, young man, feel like the right thing to make this skin into fiery sunsets
and that is reason enough
to make camp here
if only, for the night.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

I wrote this for you

1. You frankly didn't have enough money for me to want you for it.

2. I'm sorry I had too many opinions and thought too highly of women to be with you.

3. I wasn't going to compete with her for you. I hope when you get home at night and lie with her, she smells me on you.

4. I hope her smiley faces on Instagram last forever.

5. Yesterday someone called me beautiful and only you would understand why that would make me cry.

6. You were an act of rebellion that I regret.

7. It wasn't love. It was something like it. More volatile, more passionate, more delusional. It looked like love but it was never love.

8. You said "don't ever change. Don't let anyone change you". Then you left for a boring girl with a soft voice and no strong opinions.

9. I don't believe in karma. You'll have a good life. I wasn't a safe pick.

10. There was something beautiful about the way we dug into each other, the way we made feasts out of our bodies. Our bodies belonged together.

11. I will never write another word about you.

Monday, September 29, 2014


I turn 23 in approximately 6 hours.

when i turned 21, i literally thought time would freeze and i'd be 21 forever but apparently not.
time has flown by so quickly.
i hope this will be a good year for me.
my twenties have not at all turned out how i thought and hoped it would.
it's been a very shitty last few years for me.
like really shitty.
i've cried more in my twenties than in my entire life put together.
i've made shitty choices.
i've had really shitty people come into my life just to fuck me up over and over again.
i've never been farther away from God.

So, here's to 23.
please, please, be kind to me.