“No one will tell you but it’s louder than a whisper”
The men at the gate who chorus greetings when you pass by
The men smoking under the lime tree, the sour smell mixing with your name.
Chioma with the squeaky voice who keeps the office clean
They all believe it and no one will say a word
Maybe they don’t think you’d understand it
They say it’s the madness, it runs in your family like the dark on your skin
Your grandmother at 68 danced out of her husband’s house.
In exasperation, smiling with her wrappa loose under her breast
They said the madness made her leave
She argued it was the madness that kept her there so long
Let’s not talk about your mother
You know your mother
Let’s talk about the words you keep whispering to yourself when no one else is listening
The journal by your bedside where you’ve written the same word every single night
The same word in over a 100 languages
Over a 100 pages filled with “sorry”
What is wrong with you?