Upon Arriving in Takoradi
Poem by Joy Gyamfi
I remember nineteen ninety-six, when I had chubby fingers and chubby toes,
and a heart so whole I had no idea my family was breaking.
I remember the suffocation of humidity; sharp claws around my neck, fucking me slowly.
I tasted the salt in my sweat as it dripped.
I remember the mango flesh you fed me, incisors grinding down on your fingers,
as though you were a tropical fruit too.
I remember paper peeling from walls, fragile and crackling, attempting to hold on.
Our house was different.
I remember the television so loud that static soon turned into silence, white noise into
blackness, I can still smell the stale cigarettes now.
My family constantly collided in the kitchen. Smashing dishes in the sink, we bruised like peaches. We bruised like soft women.
I remember how stubborn the kinks in my hair were, knotted like the roots of a palm tree.
I remember how you tried to carry me.
I still remember the white skulls of black slaves in silver chains on crowded graves.