Bronx, New York.
               Harlem, New York.
                         Arlington, Texas.
                                   Lagos, Nigeria.
                                              Harlem, New York. 
                                                        Arlington, Texas.
                                                                  Fort Worth, Texas.
Nomads like me                                                  Gambier, Ohio. 
will concede that                                                           Copenhagen, Denmark.
home is too timeless,                                                               Catonsville, Maryland.
too timely                                                                                           Harlem, New York.
to be a place.                                                                                                 Elkridge, Maryland.

Home is
the "pele" to my tears,
chicken, peanuts, and garri,
Chinese food buffets on my birthday,

2 hour choir rehearsals on Saturday that never end on time because grown Nigerian women never do anything
on time,
Bible study on most nights (when Leah and I can’t finesse our way out),
church on Sunday mornings (after Sunday school)
followed by half an hour of goodbyes (can we go already),
followed by house fellowship on Sunday evenings,
followed by church on Tuesdays,
followed by night vigils at church on First Fridays,
followed by a five hour night vigil the following night (...Saturday was December 31st),

followed by fights on the way home
because mom couldn’t understand why
Leah and I exhausted our creative faculties
searching for ways to stay out the main room of the church,
couldn’t understand why we didn’t want to praise and pray and clamor and bring down Holy Ghost fire
(pronounced: phi-yah),
followed by a Nigerian maternal treatise on why she will not accept our behavior,
why God is all she has left, 
why [queue flood of
stories so old, so repeated
they begin to resurrect
with new sting and fresh blood].

Home is futile attempts at a peaceful game of Monopoly,
followed by emphatic rejections to future suggestions
to play Monopoly,
followed by
another five hours of Monopoly.

Home is free wings and pizza and NBA 2K16 with the homie
at 1 a.m. when both of you have
papers due before class.

It is the gall to give without wanting,
the arm that pulls you out
of yourself
when you fall,

your favorite sweater drenched in tears and mucus,
hugs that feel like cooties the older you get, 
home is the hand that slaps you for running away,
for not listening, 
or remembering
that you have family.


Cover Photo by Nathaniel Tetteh on Unsplash