things we would prefer to forget
it sometimes scares me,
how the air of my chosen country can smell like the one i left behind-
the smoky-sweet aroma of burning yams,
the impatient crush of too many earthen bodies,
and the sting of petrol fumes.
it makes me wonder if we are really as different as we pretend we are. if we really leave behind as many things as we pretend to, strapped into suitcases and duffel bags.
it makes me wonder if there are things we don’t like to remember.
i speak of the old country with pride, with nostalgia, with gentle love.
my parents speak of it with fear. with light disdain. with condescension. as if living in the land of the white man has absolved them of the responsibility to their roots.
i wonder what they would remember if they touched this tender wind.
i wonder what they would try to forget.