Poetry Workshop at a refugee camp
Before the young boy poet started reciting
He smiled, (almost incessantly)
His was to be the sixth echoe to clog
The already asphyxiating community center.
Choking pale eyes, tanning skin and bleached camera lenses.
Not with horrors, but the lack thereof.
Water bottles would drown down Sima, fear, chapati and expectations of hearing more campside fire stories that were worth the travel.
Apt for the setting
Atleast for us.
Instead we got human stories to mar it all
And cloth to wipe sweat and swat mosquitos from our fairly lotioned fresh skin.
Whose only wounds were piercings or a pinch (of salt) on a wound.
Never mind a cut, or gash, or lesion, or puncture, or rupture
We all sat there bewildered,
"How are these refugees able to write about anything other than war?"
Eccedentesiasts with coy smiles
Deplorable shame for our disappointment
Like a spoilt meal
These africans could love, breathe, swim, kiss, think,leave, sink, piss, drink and kill
...time... in a billion other ways.
They forgot to lack the dexterity of balancing life ...with life.
We only know africans that tear at things hard enough to fill our biggest screens.
He clears his throat
To an emptier hall.
His grin called again
As wide as the equator he had crossed a year ago.
(And god knows who else)
Along with carefully combed strands of keratin atop melanin scalp
(Not yet poached or claimed)
Scars decorating his eyelids
Crimson dust snowing from
Black trousers as large
as the obese wallets
That once found shelter
In his pockets
And gifted him war, and sandals, and God
And hunger, and aid, and love, and pilgramages to other countries.
And camps to host festivals,
For tourists to take selfies.
And pages and pages
Of pages and pages.
He sends his words.
Pen still at hand like a spear
about to be thrown
His mother's breast was slit open.
They fed his brother to some dogs.