Imagine Being Lodged Between Two Countries of Your Discontent
You become bipolar
What do you do? You can drink until your faculties swim in disbelief. You can pretend you are Parisian until your papers finally spell out your name without blunder.
Whatever you decide won’t cuddle you at night when only the headlights from the cars littering the streets provide the torchlight to your next destination to nowhere.
I sit here with amassed recognition that I have managed to belong to countries that don’t want me.
America was given to me as a prize of my birth right but if I should falter on a traffic signal — I will be forced to die for my sins. Nigeria is the land of my ancestors but they can’t relieve me from the grasp of knowing that I will have to bow down in embarrassment every time the Naira is a topic of discussion.
I am bipolar.
I would be — even if the countries that lay claim to me weren’t guilty of epic fails beyond calculation.
This bonus treat is sour and dour with strewn history lessons and misplaced affections. I don’t want to be the wolf that cried foul in the midst of a landscape that threatens to envelope my words.
But, I must be heard.
I belong nowhere except in the bosoms of the mother who carried me through her tenure as reluctant wife and future deal breaker.
She had me and here I am.
I want to belong. I need the White Flag to wave me to the pursuits of my dreams and aspirations. I want to feel safe and accounted for — if for no reason other than to relinquish the doubt that the opposite would be refuted.
People who look like me and carry the names that require multiple glances are dying at a rapid rate and yet — I live.
I’m not sure how long I can continue this charade — but I am a trick of trades until I convince the dictators of our time to tear down those walls and erase the ammunition of hate that were installed for their takeover.
Buhari, Trump, Putin, and other leaders that revere the notion of dead by association — you won’t kill me yet.
I am stuck for now but my release will set if off.
Let the unraveling begin.