1. my country as a metaphor for joke
in my country,
we have forgotten how to shiver
when we see serrated bodies in short video clips.
the gunshots do not cause
birds to fly,
women to gossip,
or children to scamper for safety.
but, there is a headless body
on the floor
and the only thing that makes us wonder
is that, there is a joke
and no one is laughing.
i have traversed with the memories of belonging for too long
and now, i burst open into the dead roses you planted inside of me
you named my tribe with inanimate objects like pin and needle
and this is how you pierce into us when you call us strangers
my father’s house wears an apparel of flame and smoke, one day
and the next time i try to reach you because i have called you home,
you mask your face from me and set fire on my body.
my father knows our family name,
my mother cultivates cassava,
my brothers are friends with your sons,
now tell me, why does our progress on your soil burn you?
why do you tally my tribe with the same knife
you used to kill us at the wars we lost?
where is home?