“Close the door of your room”
This is not a metaphor in this poem.
That bang of the wooden partition is the song
my ear has been starved of, for my inner eye
to read the name on the board of my soul –
the one no one ever calls me,
the one the priest missed out on the 8th day
because my father could not read
the tiny scribbles in my small closed palms.
Names are labels placed on our forehead,
the burdens we bear all through life.
I struggled to be everything
my parents and my village calls me–
To fit in like vegetable oil sleeping in a jug.
I know this is a path to the woods,
dousing the little flame living in the core of my internal millieu.
All my life I’ve been looking for myself in every house,
in every temple, on every street, except in myself.
This is why I’m desperate to see the rear of this door,
To baptise my body into the ancient doctrine of solitude –
of communion with my shadow,
beaming a torch into abandoned basement of my soul,
where nakedness to myself is without a dread of shame.
To unearth a name myself only I could know,
The one i could wear like a fitting crown.
I was prepared to feel alone, expected the government-mandated 2-metre gap to yawn between us, cold and hostile. I expected these new spaces to be