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.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Birthday gift ideas for your nigerian boyfriend.

i once knew a guy whose friend's girlfriend gave his friend a bible for his birthday present and that apparently made her marriage material. i kid you not. this guy i knew and his friend said with so much conviction how mature, and spiritual and ready for marriage she was. So because i love you guys and want y'all to get that ring;

a list of things that are acceptable as gifts for your nigerian men are:

-- Obviously, a Bible - because a Bible says that you have read proverbs 31. a Bible shows that you are not materialistic and don't want that nigha for his money because that same bible contains the passage - the root of all evil is sin or something like that. even better, you won't need to spend like half your tax returns buying him something expensive.

-- fedex food - some guy told me recently that he wouldn't be surprised if i end up not getting married because i refused to cook for him. this is a nigha i am not dating oh. i told him my parents didn't send me to america to cook for men who are not paying my rent. it got me thinking about some girl that fedex-ed her boyfriend chinchin and pepper soup from half way across the state and well, let me just say that that dude is still with that girl and will probably marry her. if that's not prove that you should send that care package, i really, really don't know what is.

-- a ring - nothing says "keep getting me a ring at the back of your mind" like literally giving your boyfriend a ring. during the presentation you can quietly slip in the size of your fingers, you know, just in case he needs a little push. also, talk about how much you don't even want an expensive ring, marrying him is all that matters to you.

-- a free pass - chances are he's already sleeping with funmi but just imagine him actually having your approval? he'd love you for life.

birthday gifts can be cheap and easy and still set you up for bigger things to come in the future. you can go around buying your man actual gifts you think he might like or you can save your money and invest in your future. all terms and conditions apply sha.

do you have any gift ideas that you think our various nigerian men would appreciate? let me know in the comments. this could save a life...or a relationship.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

you're allowed to feel all the feels you want to feel

why aren't women allowed to be bitter? sometimes bitter is what you should be feeling.
i find that women are constantly under watch by the emotion police. especially nigerian women. you cannot talk about something your ex did to you without being labelled bitter. you cannot talk about your experiences without some idiot coming out and calling you bitter, telling you that if you'd moved on that you wouldn't still be talking about it.

you also probably shouldn't be around people who ask you how long a friendship/relationship lasted and then use your answer to estimate what you should or should not be feeling. trying to undermine your experiences with the amount of time that person was in your life. no matter how small a time you spent with someone, it doesn't change the fact that love - either romantic or platonic love - changes you in some small or really ridiculously huge way. it doesn't change the fact that this person was in your life for a certain amount of time, it doesn't matter that y'all knew it would end, it doesn't matter that y'all thought it'd last forever, it doesn't matter what the intentions were.
but when love ends, you're allowed to mourn, you're allowed to feel what you're feeling.
if bitter is what you're feeling, you're allowed to be bitter. don't let anyone bully you into pretending that you're not feeling anything. feel what you want to feel. you don't owe anyone any explanation or justification for your feels. feel it and then move on.

also, people need to realise that what you felt when something happened to you doesn't necessary mean that someone else should feel that same way. this is something i struggle with too. i find that sometimes i get over things quite easily, i gangsta through my feelings and move on but i need to realise that just because that is how i process things doesn't mean that that is how someone else should process their feels. let people feel what they are feeling, don't tell them what they should be feeling instead.

you don't always have to be the bigger person, the do-what-is-right person. this right here is something i struggle with sometimes in my life. i find that sometimes i do things because i know it is the right thing to do, not necessarily because i want to do them. this person did this? cut them off. this person said that? let them go. i never allow myself to feel what i'm feeling and accept that i'm human and others are human and sometimes people mess up and sometimes i'm allowed to mess up, and i'm allowed to feel what i feel and sometimes i should do what i want to do not what someone else wants me to feel or act how i think someone else wants me to act. sometimes, i wake up and wonder if i had just gone with what i was feeling if things would be different, instead of going with what i know i should do. i also struggle with advising my friends. i'm working on letting my friends know that they're allowed to do what they want to do, feel what they want to feel. i might think that it's stupid and i might think why don't you just get over it? but i never want anyone to wake up 5 years later and think - maybe if i had made that phone call, maybe if i had reached out. i never want anyone to stifle their emotions in this bid to be the one who moves on the fastest and wake up years later to realise that they have all these issues because they never learnt to feel their emotions and that in a bid to move on so quickly they ended up not resolving why something ended and why they no longer feel the need to feel what they felt.

here ends my rant of the day.
did not proofread.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baked eggs [Stay]

"The truth is this:
My love for you is the only empire
I will ever build.

When it falls,
as all empires do,
my career in empire building will be over."
Mindy Nettifee, “This is the Nonsense of Love”
4 eggs
green onions
red onions
3 table spoons of oil
minced garlic
bell peppers

i miss you most when i'm making baked eggs on a perfectly sunny saturday morning while swinging back beer and dancing around my kitchen to Taylor Swift. It hits me in between dicing the onions and convincing myself to use less oil that you are not mine anymore. That i have lost and shed all the skin that you once touched and bore your tongue into. that life has moved on without you. i am not sad anymore. i am not depressed anymore. but the poems all lie. missing someone hits you in between the most mundane tasks.  it happens when you're hands deep in eggs and suddenly the beating eggs sound like the way your heart shivered and stopped the first time he dared reach for you.
I don't know why you left. you found my scars beautiful, worth exploring, you found the possibilities of me endless and then you didn't. isn't that how all love stories end?

cut your green onions, bell peppers, red onions
pour your oil in to your sauce pan
put in your cut red onions when oil is hot, let it fry till translucent
put in tons of minced garlic, bell peppers and green onions, and let it fry for a bit
put in all the spices you're comfortable with (salt, stock cubes, paprika, all spice,ginger powder)
let it simmer for a little bit, then take it off the fire.

i don't know why you came back but at dinner i couldn't stop watching your mouth, the way it broke into nervous laughter, and the way it said my name like it belonged there, tucked in between the pearly gates of your tongue. you reached for me in a barely furnished apartment with your breath tinged with the beer you had been downing all night and you tasted like pain. Body shamed and caving with such desperation, kisses dropping upon the small towns and cities of this map of a body that you've colonised and left, time and time again.
is there a word for the crumbling of a body into submission? is there a word for the colour of red on dark skin? is there a word for two souls disappearing into each other? for 9 months worth of longing taken out on bodies too weak and yet too eager to love? is there a word for being too young to make your body into a mantra for passion?
on days like this, it looks like love. while our bodies are tangled and gasping for air, our hearts turn down the volumes of all the things we've done wrong, of all the ways this is a disaster, of all the ways we will eventually destroy each other. i am not a safe pick, someone should have told you that, i have been patched on and fixed, callouses and bones and flesh and little heart and i am guaranteed to come undone.

preheat your oven to 400 degrees
pour your vegetables into a baking pan you already coated with butter or a non stick spray
beat your eggs
pour your eggs over your vegetables
let it bake till the eggs are done.
sprinkle a little parsley or basil on top

what i know of losing yourself in someone is this-
you will learn to enjoy the pain-
he doesn't mean to make you cry, he was just never taught how to stay
you will not recognise you in the mirror anymore
you will learn to peel off the sadness on days it surfaces unexpectedly
you will look up 9 months later while baking eggs and miss them
and suddenly, you won't know what to do with your hands.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

To a friend, after a heartbreak

“I mean you ask me 

not to fall in love with you 

and then you go write poems
with your tongue 
and draw constellations 

in my freckles.”
Clementine Von Radics

When you tell him that you love him and he hesitates.
Do not make excuses for him. Do not rationalize why he doesn't love you like you do. Do not quote reasons why men can't express their feelings. When he tells you you're too good for him, believe him. When he says that he doesn't want to hurt you, nod. Don't cry. Let him say his piece. Stare at the mole on his face. If you concentrate hard enough your eyes won't betray you. When he says he doesn't want to be with you anymore, nod, walk him to the door, when he asks if you're alright, nod again. When he kisses you goodnight in places where the sun cannot see, let him. Savour it. This is going to be the last time his tongue will sing praises about the beauty you are.
When he finally leaves, collapse on your bed and cry, my friend. Because a love ending, even a one sided love, is reason enough to empty out your soul and weep.

I want to write you something that will heal you and make you forget but you have to go through the mechanics of break up. First you cry, then you call, then you bargain with God, then with him, maybe try fasting, Ramadan is on the way maybe give that a go?
Then your pride will kick in and you will delete his number and block him and just hold him in your memories where the only things you'll remember are the good days - not the day he yelled at you and made you feel unworthy. 
And the rejection will hurt most of all because you're beautiful and giving and amazing and how could he not want you? How could he not want to read the end of this gorgeous piece of literature you are?

Art is subjective, my friend and also he's obviously an idiot. But you are too woman for him. Too giving and loving and too filled with dreams of the future and ambition. You are worthy beyond words to be loved but not by a boy. Not by someone you have to make better, not by a boy who wants to put you through the ringer and then stands on your battered heart to call himself a man.
You deserve to be loved by a flawed man who is willing to compromise and stay and work at it and love you as much as he possibly can.

So cry and cry and cry and then move on to something worthy. Better things will come. Better people will come. And you will be better for it.

So, when you wake up in the middle of the night with an urge to call him, go back to sleep, don't let this undeserving boy be the moon to your ocean tides.


Monday, April 14, 2014

a letter to myself, 6 months ago

You should see yourself this evening. nothing has ever looked better, in your bed, surrounded by pizzas and slinging back a bottle of beer. yes, you acquired the taste. you've settled into its bitter taste and managed to find the sweet in it. you're in your panties and bra in your furniture less apartment laughing hysterically about something you just saw on twitter. your alone has settled into you. you've remastered the act of being alone and now it feels like you're friends with yourself again.
it's spring again and your allergies are not as bad as they were last year and you're reading again and spring feels so good and your legs are out to play again.
it's probably 3am where you are and you're sad again, and you're crying again and you feel like you're never going to be happy again and you miss yourself and you miss the person who left.
love did not come how you expected and it did not stay how you expected. you built an empire in between the shoulders of winter but of course it must fall like all empires do. the summer came around with graduations and job searches and depression and all its southern sun and melted your empires.
i wish you could have seen you today - content, happy, maybe then you would have cried less, danced in your underwear more, enjoyed the drinking instead of using it as a form of escape. i wish you didn't have to turn to the sleeping pills to lure yourself into constant oblivion. i wish you hadn't forgotten how to love yourself when someone else offered to carry that burden. you should have known that no one could love you in the tentative and vain way you were accustomed to. you loved all of you out and ended up empty.
the world is starting to make sense all over again. you're going out more and traveling more and complaining about work and laughing with friends and having inappropriate sexual conversations with girls who helped pull you out of your loneliness. and you're loving the way your skin is finally hugging itself and your mirror tells you you're beautiful over and over again till you start to believe it again and you're having brunch and drinking red wine after midnight with girls who like to hold you and love you and tell you that you're too damn fabulous to be this lost.

this is all to say that
you've found you again
you're living again
and i'm so proud of you.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Fiery Reds

I square danced on your grave tonight.

I remember the first time i saw you. 
You stared at me through out that night without saying a word to me. You spoke to my friends and never directed any of your questions towards me. 
You were so dark and the whites of your teeth when you burst into unexpected laughter always came as a surprise. You had the weirdest eyes, and sometimes i'd forget that i wasn't supposed to be looking into them. 

I went to your wake keeping with lips your tongue once whispered to

I didn't go to your wake. I couldn't go. 
I sat around an hour away and counted reasons why i shouldn't go - 
you didn't belong to me anymore, 
the moments between the corners of september and may were locked away forever, 
i never belonged to you, 
you were terrifying in the way you wanted me, 
i was selfish in the way i didn't want you.

I haven’t cried yet.

you left and a text message announcing your leaving was all i had, and not even from you. i couldn't stop crying for a week. i gave myself a week to mourn you. you wouldn't have liked all the crying, you hated people being sad around you. 
You thought you could fix the world...
You thought you could fix me if you tried hard enough, if you begged hard enough, You thought you could mold me back into happiness if I'd just let you try but your hands were full of sin, young man.

bon voyage, mon chéri homme français

I hope you have a quarter for the boat man.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Everything i know about heartbreak, I learnt from Houston.

"i won't glorify or romanticise
for me it was a kind of death
and i was forced to keep living"
   - Warsan Shire

You should fall in love in Houston, definitely not forever, but at least once. Houston will enthusiastically and expensively romance you with all its oil money and terrible traffic and never ending roads and suburbs and streets. There are never ending hidden alley ways where you can park at 2 in the morning and awkwardly reach for your lover in between arguments and lies and more lies and kiss already swollen lips until you find the truth in them. But you have to do it right, you have to fall in love with a man who will dance for you in the middle of the street under street lights right in the middle of the city's center and tell you stories of the military and love and soldiers who weren't always soldiers. it's difficult to determine what to do with this much sadness and pain, this city is drenched in it, it will slowly seep into you and the man who dances for you under the stars. the man who has a laughter that sounds like musical notes suspended on oceans that dragged you away from everything that looks like you and wants you.

You should fall in love in Houston with a man who loves the idea of you. Who wants you to shrink for him, to talk less, argue less, be less you, be smaller, fit in his palm. A man who wants you learn his language and paints the tones into your skin every night. Shut up more, listen to him more, you don't always have to have an opinion and you try. you try to be less aggressive, you try the submissive thing, you read proverbs 31 over and over and over again until you can quote the words in your head as you count to 10 and bite your tongue. you become familiar with the way your blood taste on tongues that have been bitten for so long. you wake up one day and find yourself shriveled, and unrecognizable but you love him so you stay and you fast and you beg God and you wonder what you're going to do if he leaves. Begging becomes your way of life, you spend hours in tears begging him to stay. you rationalise why you stay, why you deserve the pain, you think of all the ways he's convinced you that you're not worthy and you believe them and you tried didn't you?

You should fall in love in Houston with a man who doesn't know how to stay. He will leave. that's all he knows how to do. You should spend your time in bed crying. let no one tell you different. crying is exactly what you should be doing. Some days the pain feels like it's never going to end, but you should wake up and walk to your favourite brunch place and sit there alone and read "Winter's Tale", over and over and over again till you know all the nooks and crannies of New York city without ever having been there. You should call him and beg some more, you should write him emails and poems until you've run out of things to say and then one day, stop calling him. stop writing him poems that he'll never get to see. stop writing chapters about him when you're only but one sentence in his book. dance naked in your bathroom more, smile silently to yourself at dirty jokes. you should giggle more often because you like to and he's no longer there to tell you that giggling is for immature young girls. you're immature and young and sad but giggle anyway because you want to and because there's no one here to tell you that you can't. Laugh in the dark at how beautiful and amazing and fucking worthy you are.

You should acknowledge that you probably did some things you shouldn't have in this love story, you should read it over and over again till you recognise those things and try to be better. then fall in love again with a man who thinks you're worthy of his love and do better, be better, be worthy.