Change of Address

You will

Carry home pressed between the pages of a worn Bible you picked up from your grandfather’s desk when no one was watching. Object furiously anytime someone suggests that you must pledge allegiance to a particular patch of earth within a fixed grid reference. Cradle the sparkling new symbols of your settling down in your fingers, or squeeze them in your palm until they leave an angry imprint of their ridges, a symbol of permanence- or transience- scars fade so soon you often do not notice their departure. Attempt to find home in hasty embraces only half-finished before retreating back merges with next street corner. Scratch at the empty bases of cardboard boxes hoping to clutch remains of childhood blankets and title deeds turned to dust and stuffing of tattered cushions. Sift through misery-laden song lyrics hoping that one day you will find the exact a-minor that rings like the doorbell on that termite-ridden porch a few yesterdays ago. Skim text messages and voicemails, discarded shopping lists and notes written in a hasty scrawl, please mop when you get the chance- try and fail to replicate the warmth of that particular space between arm and chest which you once inhabited so comfortably. Nurse the fear that home will grow to be a place that you detest, one cold long corridor singing with the screams of the unstable, that makes your skin crawl, silent apart from the crunch of eggshells and broken glass beneath your feet, a place where weather patterns and traffic circulation are often discussed for lack of anything more thrilling, a place that you threaten to swallow with the gaping yawns that betray your boredom. Continue to seek home in the spaces between broken benches, chalked on the bricks  of rundown buildings, inside luggage carousels from airport to airport, and in the faint smell of sweat left on your pillowcase.

Image source: Amateur photograph taken by me on the porch at home in Accra, Ghana. December 2014

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