This post is about the robbery that my family experienced in Ghana. I have marinated on this for weeks after the fact. This is not journalism. This is my interpretation of the situation:
A palpable quagmire of tension sits waist high throughout our house. It smells of the gutters that line the streets in Accra: bitter, sour, sharp…and an unforgettable existence of presence. A cloud looming: Dust high and thick in the air. Wind has arrived. A pack of dogs hungry.
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Alone in her room a girl stands clenching the back of her neck with both hands and heavy elbows. Her chin is raised but not in pride; her eyes are closed but not in peace. Every pinch on her legs from the men at the markets resurfaces and stings her once more. Every stare she shared while contorted on suffocating vans becomes a visage of deceit. Every set of puckered lips paired with that ripping hiss from the men on the streets who bribe her attention reminds her of the insurmountable distance to her bed back home. She has been violated. Her room no longer a place for solitude…
She will not sleep tonight.
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A Freudian Slip can hold its weight in gold. Two lovers mold to each other’s body. She is asleep and he is awake, anxiously discovering the depth of the rabbit hole that he believes is love. The slight wheeze from her slumber becomes an unique beauty to him, never an annoyance, for he refuses sleep just to hear her. He is not accustomed to lying on his side, but sleeping alone pains him far worse. The aches are becoming strengths. The bed is hot, but their heat becomes energy – to him. She mumbles. In a dream she stirs. In exhale she proclaims, “…it just doesn’t feel right.” A thought inside her head now becomes a fungus inside his. Selfish doubts and thoughts of betrayal. Why? Into a new rabbit hole he gallops. One heart becomes two…
He will not sleep tonight.
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Out of the shower she begins a new cycle. Her past exists in her mind, but her body is clean, ready for a new day, ready to become something new, under her control but with the influence of her surroundings. She stands in front of the mirror leaning into herself. She sees what exists, but what exists is not her perception. Beauty is within her, but on her cheek lies a piece of her she wishes not to be seen: a blemish; a pimple; a zit. She reaches for the answer: cover up. Cover up is not a lie. In her mind she will know the obstruction that clutters her visage. Cover up is merely a redirection of attention from an undesired fault back to the deep beauty that is her marble eyes. Within her eyes is understanding, and she must stray her onlookers from the path of assumption and acquisition. Looks can be deceiving. With her pad she dabs on cover up.
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