How do you find home if it never was?
it seats easy on the tongue
maybe that’s why it doesn’t seat here
maybe home was meant for pliable spaces.
I was ten when I first heard the word tomboy
this one is a tomboy o, look at how she’s walking
it sounds like a cross between
neither here nor there
maybe that’s why it seats better.
mother says home is not a place, it’s a feeling
I know rejection, guilt, fear, anxiety
this is how I know I’m home
an unwanted guest in my own body.
have faith they say
if you speak it you will receive it
but how do you wrap your tongue around
a name you do not know?
it’s not a rod between the legs
it’s not gentle curves in imperfect places
it’s a word stuck between pages.
tired of searching for space in closed books,
I whisper a prayer to the builder, take me home.
take me somewhere, anywhere but here,
take me home.
how much for the winds to carry me home?
should I stop at the first cut or the second,
or after I cannot lift the blade anymore?
how deep should I cut
before home finds a place in this story?
Olakitan lives in Lagos, where she spends her days writing computer programs and releasing herself as a vessel for the debut collection of everything poetic that’s slowly working through her. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in African writer, Kalahari review and others. Recently, she took part in the Afro young adult workshop organized by Goethe-Institut.
When the manuscript lets her, she writes wicked prose and feminist articles on her blog, kitanbelles.com. Sometimes, she tweets here: @kitanbelles