I. To Sleep
Land of plenty.
Foods I ate as a child:
Eko e gbee mli.
Kaaklo ke aboboi.
Should be paradisical; All these
Geological marvels of rock and water and sand.
Big beach, deep forest.
Flip-flops on red earth.
Easy conversation and raucous laughter: I defy you to find
better senses of humor
and better delivery.
These Gifted & Black.
These entrepreneurs with Macs and Galaxy tabs.
Give dreams and vision voice.
Go pidgin to professional and back.
Big Aunties in Wax print and headscarves
Chiding little bundles of hope running around
large square compounds
swept at sunrise.
Lives looking inward at each other.
Playing with where you've come from
like it matters:
It matters, so spread cheer.
II. To Waking
Hundred bucks for visas two hunny for middlemen.
Capital hot and humid.
No vegetative cover.
Not on the coast.
Roads good then suddenly they aren't.
Terrestrial marvels of un-driveability.
Everyone is hungry.
Hungry for opportunity.
Hungry for money.
Hungry for shelter.
Hungry for land, including someone else's.
Hungry for betterment,
any means necessary.
Just plain hungry.
Food a narrowing band of the cornucopia it once was.
Don't nobody got time
for these whole-day ass recipes.
Don't nobody live in these mansions.
Don't nobody let em to the poor, neither.
Poor is desperate.
You can be too desperate to trust.
Expats. Yes: let's let to them.
Less damn hassle.
Middle class decision trees.
Don't count on pensions...
Especially if you had any kind of a stint overseas, in the West,
and failed to make good with that one, singular, golden opportunity
that God himself stretched out of his throne to give to you, you fool;
you deserve nothing...
III. To the Rhythm
Priests that shouldn't be.
Preying and Praying alike in Christ.
Bent of knee in spirit.
In the perpetual hope that does not know how to die.
That greatest hope of all hopes.
That hope that poor people in sun-drenched places have.
The kind that kills when it dies.
And the rites of passage
burn holes in pockets.
"These rites of passage
are burning holes
in people's pockets...
but poverty on".
I meant, party on.
Swirl like Orishas in your Blacks and Whites.
Don't forget the bottled water.
Give some to the shriveled old women with pearlescent eyes
Who weep because they have witnessed
the arc in its entirety.
Glad you have come, child.
No longer remembering you but glad.
Have something to tell you.
Only sobbing left.
IV. To Tell
Solar panels and Startups.
Hummers and Jeeps.
Bars. Clubs. Comedy shows.
Restaurants with European and Asian cuisines.
Orientals at the mall.
Kerosene lamps have turned
into humming fluorescents.
Happy chatter breaks up the dark.
in the night.
Ghanigerian melt-pot mammas in
high-heels and strappy dresses.
Real tresses, faux tresses, folle tresses.
The ubiquitous heft and curve to the womenfolk.
The chiseled men in their european cuts.
free-flowing frills, to flawlessly executed shards
of stiff scented polygonals
Smile, you're on money transfer.
Ethereal banking made mobile.
Microchips and mazes of options
hidden behind dialled codes.
Even clamshells compute.
The world would never know
should you discover
You de talk too much.
V. To Leave
Adjust for delays.
Forms to fill.
Look into the camera.
They fingerprint you when you're leaving,
taking the cake AND the biscuit.
When folks are LEAVING?