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Neither Here Nor There

I am a living cliché
I am a girl taught to lower her gaze and close her legs
Taught to pray and believe in God
Expected to become a duteous wife to a man someday
Required to curtsy when greeting my elders
And smile even when I want to scream and break a glass or five
My features don’t help me either. I do not look wild or carefree. I do not have tattoos or multiple piercings. I simply do not look the part of a casual creature. I look uptight. I am not the kind of girl you invite out on a Friday night but the one who’ll bring your morning coffee and talk about the weather.
But sometimes I catch myself slipping out of these boundaries that should define me.
I catch myself discussing death with a huge grin on my face. I lose myself in stories of ancient Yoruba gods. I read about Obatala, who was known for his insatiable thirst for alcohol and wild raves. I long to share his unholy wine and move my body to his forbidden rhythm.
I read that Sango had a long wild mane. I yearn to run my fingers through his unruly head of hair and laugh at his jokes on mortals.
“Hauwa!”
My mother calls out and breaks into my reverie. She pulls me back into my uptight self and I see little brother peering into his phone because that is the most amusing thing in his life at the moment.
After listening to my mother, I recline my head and zone back into a world where I make jokes with demi-gods.
I am not that docile girl.
I am the girl who wants to have a wild rave with ancient gods.
And the kind of girl every mother-in-law shuts the door on.

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