I nod too much and my face is
Is this a smile or a grimace?
My frozen face is twitching
to relax back into neutral.
She tells me about Marrakech
and her French textbooks from her school days where she learned about La Rochelle.
La Rochelle means to me another base
that we have settled into.
Driving through Tangier and Marseille,
bleeding our sanguine souls
into a mould that will
never hold our shape.
La Rochelle is where
Mami seasons her Tagine
in a greying high rise flat,
where she stacks duvet covers
in clear plastic zip bags
and where she shops for dried mint leaves
at the local market.
What does it feel like to live in a country
that was made for your wide nose and stung lips?
Where iron skies reflect your character
and the diction knocks you back into last week?
She is sweet when she talks,
kind, sincere even.
But I’m struggling to hear her
from behind these antennae.
‘Yes, yes’ I nod to another.
‘Of course’ I smile at another.
All the while antennas coil around
this disappearing smoke.
Uncle Jeff tells me about a place
that I will love at first sight.
Ghana is opportunity he says.
‘You can start anything there’.
‘You have to go’
Ms Addo chimes in
from the migrant support centre.
And so I dream
of forgoing the ‘otherness’ I will feel in Ghana,
of dissolving the coiling mass around my body
under the glaring sun
and releasing this bated breath.