Celebrating East African Writing!
Written by Kwabena Agyare Yeboah
I saw nostalgia float, rippling in the air today. I saw the door to your former room, in the hostel you lived in about two years ago. It made me love the harmattan all over again. I tried to wear my voice and recall with stitches my walk with you. That door always ended our stroll like a word of prayer. It was a boundary. It was an emblem of what remained unsaid. And the quick, short glances that punctuated the night. When I saw the door, I saw our places as heaven and earth, with me in between as a wayfarer, playing the flute at a place no one heard the melody. I thought of you. When I was a child, I heard there was a gate to heaven. Whenever you closed that door, I thought heaven was that near yet very far. There it lay; here I stood. I yearned for that chance to be there with you and to know your fears.
Life is messy like biology where, sometimes, the only key to truth is crude experiment. What I had to say was messy, too, but my experiment ran cold in its designing process. That door stood between us. Your cute half- face that always hid behind the door still appears in my album. I pick them from my retina and size them into a memory of you and me. To prevent time from defaming it, I fold and save it in my right ventricle. I will excavate it with a scalpel one day.
When he took your hand and asked for a dance, I started picking my footsteps from your door. You gifted me with pain. You gave me poetry. Poetry is like water. You handed to me another life. You leaving burnt my skin like safe bottle lamp. It rattled. It disturbed me. Somewhere in my head, I held a funeral for my love or something like that for you. I bequeathed to you my soul, my humanity. My being. Rolled in casket, my bones clattered at your name. It did not rain. I counted the grains of sand that buried me.
Tonight, I smoke the silences that gather under my feet and weave a thought. Tonight, I will read poems and meditate on them. Tonight, these poems will scale my second skin and soot it. Tonight, I will be a poet and paint a portrait of how I used to love you and how I lost it. Your door is hypnotic. I remember how things used to be and the trail of footsteps that carried you away like feathers diving in the wind. I will be here, waiting, growing old, just in case your casting ends early. I want to hug your neck again. Again and again.
I wonder why the act of forgetting you brings so many withdrawal symptoms. So many. I wonder . . .