Eager to tell them
As many as possible are incredible
The prologues of our personalities
Stories that turn our bodies into a hot sauce,
Crafted to be received with curiosity
& excitement of strangers & acquaintances,
With these words oozing out we break
Into circles & triangles & groups,
Then we wait between listening to others
To talk more about themselves,
Nodding as if we understand,
We start drinking so the words
Come easily. We don’t even know we are
Taking turns in talking. Usually
The next topic begins with many raised voices
In a circle that bows down to one.
As far as I have learned this is what
People call social skills, the ability to engage
In a passive verbal combat when necessary
& also party. To squeeze our uninformed opinions here
& there. To smear our discoloured selves on
The faces of others. & to pick up a topic before
They fall below the threshold of music.
The art of holding wine glasses, red Styrofoam
Cups & looking cool. Slowly a party picks
Up momentum. More people arrive
Alone or with a clique, wearing
Pancakes or shades or both, matching
Colours, & the shoes that fit & strikes
The difference. This is also a party. I drink
Vodka until my body is filled with helium, the bass
Of the massive sound system in sync with our heart-
Beats altogether. I take side glances. I fall
In love with women for the longest seconds.
Women who are definitely with other men
In a circle, wrapped in arms, or drowning
In a triangle of dialogue of other men.
Women alone pretending to be busy
Texting. Women with other women, laughing
At women jokes. Meanwhile, Cups keep
Getting refilled, Eyes inflamed. At any time
I notice the exchange of women between men.
Ways to get anybody’s attention. Private parties
Of the party. There is a way partygoers show off
Wristwatches, bracelets, handbags & shoes go
All the way up into your head that matters. Phones come out
Of the dark, poses are taken in the moment: Live snaps,
Group photos, statuses uploaded. No one cares for
A loner like me, especially buried in a hoodie,
Save a few waves across the hall, few hugs &
Handshakes but I’m happy to be left alone.
Visar’s a Nigerian poet who also writes short stories, forms of haikus and Tanka, Articles and reviews. Visar’s works have appeared on Nthanda review, The Kalahari review, and African writer and elsewhere.
Amazing! This poem speaks to people like me.