By Nætiive Gcithima
Image by José Bittencourt Neto c/o nappy.co
If ever the world swallows me whole, reincarnate me.
Cover me in shimmering excellence and drape the memory of me in the shades of my people.
Bathe me in rough Indian seas and rinse my feet in the gentle Ethiopian coast along the north.
Caress my expired existence from head to toe,
make poetry of my obituary,
love me in my absence and wax lyrical about my character.
If ever the world swallows me whole and I forget to speak love unto my people,
make it rain lead with soundtrack symphonies of shell casings hitting suburban pavements.
Recreate me in the image of my mother.
Mould my heart in the wrath of my father.
Shape my breath in warmth and humility and carve my curves in a fine baobab trunk.
Stain my lips with the taste of good food.
So if ever the world swallows me whole and I forget to speak peace into you,
Our history repeats itself like ‘76 with pressing footsteps, crackling fires and angry hearts.
Recreate me in the essence of my grandmother
and mould my heart in the humbleness of my grandfather.
For souls tend to stray away from their purpose.
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