Sometimes I write pain

Sometimes I write tears

Sometimes I write remembered fear

Sometimes I write powerlessness

Sometimes I write the trauma that lives in my bones

Sometimes I write the shadows in my soul

Sometimes I write wounding memories etched deeply on my brain

So sometimes I write in blood.

 

Sometimes I write the sounds of bullets,

Sometimes I write the blood and brains on the roads

Sometimes I write walking past the blood soaked mattress that carried his bullet-ridden body

Sometimes I write the months that mattress sat outside the Health Centre,

Sometimes I write smelling boli and groundnut

Smelling the stench of warm faeces wafting from behind the bushes of PG Hall

Sometimes I write with screaming in my ears.

Screams merging in my head,

While the other me huddles in the dark

Closing her ears to the sounds running feet, the sounds of trampled bodies

Sometimes I can still see the cotton wool pushed into his nose and his ears,

Sometimes I write his mortuary blackened skin

Sometimes I still see his feet sticking out of the coffin,

Throughout the service, his feet sticking out of the undersized coffin

He was over six feet tall, soft spoken, his life stolen from him in a moment

In another moment his phone

So sometimes I write in blood

 

Sometimes I write with the fumes of teargas choking out my breath

Sometimes I write gasping for air

Sometimes I write holding the bullet that split his skull

His blood bursting forth, drenching his shirt, dead before he even touched the ground

Sometimes I write the columns of smoke that heralded the death of hundreds…

Hundreds travelling from Ibadan who never saw home again,

Sometimes i write the wails of the dirges of candlelit processions

How many candlelight processions for dead students can YOU survive?

I survived them all, at least some of me did.

So sometimes I write in blood.

 

Sometimes I write his body arching through the air

I never knew his name,

but between Abuja and Abaji I saw his body break beneath a speeding bus

Sometimes I write through a hazy smoke-filled gaze

From Modakeke to Ife, from Offa to Erinle

Sometimes I write a thousand burnt houses

Sometimes I write through the sleepless night

Sometimes I write the fear keeping me awake

How many home invasions can YOU survive?

 

Sometimes I write her.

Sometimes I write her body, this prison which is all you see

Sometimes I write her pain,

Sometimes I write the death of her soul,

Sometimes I write the husk left behind,

Sometimes I write the feet that trample over her,

Sometimes I write the hands that touch her, unwanted, unbidden,

Sometimes I write the hands that strike her,

Sometimes I write the hands that are meant to love her,

Sometimes I write her oppression, I write her forced smile,

Sometimes I write her

But we survive.

A part of us survives.

So sometimes

Sometimes I write

I write

I write in blood

Sometimes I write in blood

So that someday, sometime I can write her freedom.

I want to write our freedom.

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