The first time i tasted plastic
Was at age six
Playing pick up sticks next to brown boys with bird bones
Heard the crack of their laughter as they spat it at me on asphalt.
At fourteen being force-fed a double hand in the diaspora
My identity reduced to a single word, laced with disappointment. As if assimilation is something to be embarrassed about.
Hide it under the bed, create our own monsters in our head and
wonder why we’re afraid of the dark.
Stark memories of my homeland hidden beneath the shadows
cast by the Long White Cloud
If ‘home is where the heart is’,
then mine is tethered to the thickened
blood washing out the
water of the womb
isn’t something you can just hold onto with wide eyes and open palms- trust me, I
slip through the cracked pavements it grew up on,
down to the buried bones of forgotten ancestors.
Could you still call a place home, if your words tastes like oil on the seas of tradition your mother tongue embracing English at the airport.
Would it still be home? If you’ve never heard a voice saying
‘Ofa’anga, foki mai ki api.
Darling, come back home.