Poetry by Chrissie Chinebuah
We wage wars to drive in Africa,
Just to battle the militant eyes bartering
Discomfort for a meal, for a taste
At the expense of our personal space
Or the headlights whose invasive reach
Tailgate our bodily havens –
We deal with trespassers.
Horns catcall after our number-plated derrieres,
Polluting the air with noisy names
Brands, we do not call ourselves,
And street hawkers bombard satisfaction
With unreasonable gluttony,
Causing men to forget that not all goods
Paraded, put on display in open windows,
Are for sale.
So we entrap ourselves in our moving prisons
And steer with caution they critique,
Through minefields of reckless manhood,
As we watch our freedom regress
Into pillars of salt, things that slip between fingers
In the rear-view mirrors of our cars.
What if one of us refused to parallel park
Into the space
Would they then deny us the right to a licence?
The Deviants Have Come Home
they have instructed
we must no longer
the petals we carry
in the fertile shame of our groins.
for the burning of old wives’ tales –
and s p r e a d a contagion of riot
and start a m o v e m e n t against constraints
that is not of birds, that is of not bees.
Chrissie Chinebuah is an aspiring lawyer who currently lives in Accra, Ghana. She is a lover of all things creative, having tried her hand at painting and DJing in addition to poetry. Her work is forthcoming or has been published in Momaya, AgbowÃ, Through the Eyes of African Women, Feminessay and Journal of African Youth Literature. Aside from her passion for poetry, she also has a travel and lifestyle photography page on Instagram, @theculturedvice.
Originally published April 17, 2020