Whispers

“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?

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