Scattered Scenes     

The sun dries up my emotion 
At the spot where broken bottles 
clutter the sidewalk
Urine stains form a collage of lives hobbling by

I hear cries of ghost slaves 
In my landlady’s basement
Lady Chatterley evades the silent walk of age
Though her wrinkles drip like her bulldog’s lip
She prances in pink
fawns on her furs
And sparkles brighter than her Lexus

Her tightening rent
is pollen dust bathing Monument Avenue
Coating my eye brows, lips and lashes
The pollen crusts
Rust the linings of my breath

In the park
A Caucasian boy
Touches my skin
Shades his eyes against the sun
To see my face

His mother sprints towards us
Her veiled lace
Floats against
The white of the pavement

She grabs him
His limbs flail against the wind
The sun glares
Casting his frame 
In bronze

The furrow on my brow
Is deeper than the river
That feeds my veins

Fear lurks in every corner.


There is a part of the night 
crawls out of the wall
raises its hammer above my head.
with the howling of a wind
at my mind
at my head 
till the pellets of my pride
splatter like splinters of a blasted tree
I grope
bended and bashed
while demons jeer from corners and applaud
till my bedroom becomes a butcher’s table
pounding, pounding, as morning crawls in to rescue me
I duck
dreading the light that hides between shadows
and wobble my way into daylight
The bruises on my swollen face claw their way out
But I have learnt how to keep company with daylight
trapping the steps of light. 

About the Author:

Unoma Azuah is a professor of English at Wiregrass Georgia Tech. Valdosta, GA, USA.  Her research and activism focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights. Recently, she concluded a book project on the lives of gay Nigerians entitled, Blessed Body: Secret Lives of LGBT Nigerians. Her current book project is entitled Wedged Between Man and God: Queer West African Women’s Stories. The prestigious Ms. Magazine describes her just released memoir, “Embracing My Shadow: growing up a lesbian in Nigeria,” as powerful.  Some of her writing awards include the Aidoo-Snyder award, Urban Spectrum award, Flora Nwapa/ Association of Nigerian Authors award, Leonard Trawick award and the Hellman/Hammett Human Rights award. 

* Feature image by Jr Korpa on Unsplash