What are you afraid of?
Shivers with intention.
A teardrop becomes one with the rain.
I hear and see your pain.
Activists can get tired too.
and lose hope.
Bleached minds say we are.
When we want to be treated equally.
When we want better for our people.
A loyal servant.
When years of your efforts are no longer useful to the colonial administration.
With no place to call your own.
A landless worker.
Is what you become.
Someone comes to mind.
I blend in like camouflage.
To get a feel of the city.
Away from the AC.
Crossing roads without caution.
Life stops for no one.
Like the speed of a bullet train.
Before a synapse is fired in your brain.
A common phenomenon.
Take a second.
To catch your breath.
The moment of headrush before take-off.
I am no longer afraid of the unknown.
It comes back to me on the drive home.
The concrete jungle.
Is no place to raise a family.
It breaks my heart as I look back.
No one is paying attention.
Undermined and overlooked.
Existing within the shadows.
Reaching for light through the cracks
In a sky full of people, only some want to fly.
Isn’t that crazy?
Untold stories will eat you inside.
A WhatsApp message from PNG
and a Black and white screensaver to remind me.
That I can’t afford to eff this up.
Your vernacular is powerful morena (brown-skin girl).
Looking down on the balcony.
Leotards and police in uniform.
Parading the streets.
Not sure if the baton is part of the look.
Something out of a Sisqó video that rhymes with “song”.
Is the vibe I’m feeling.
Can’t even trust a local for directions.
I wave the peace sign and six fingers at the security.
Fluorescent bodies glowing in the dark.
Feels like I’m 19 again.
Some things I must leave behind.
Headphones on, back to the grind.
Bilum Lady x
Great job for reading this far! Wrapping up my experience in Brazil with this writing style has been the only way to get the hard stuff down. I’m no poet or lyricist, still finding my flow. Feeling inspired since I arrived in Brazil. Taking note of abstract bits of Brazil and meshing it with pieces from my childhood imagination is something that I’ve tapped into more recently. A bricolage of ideas that create a bigger picture is how I see it. My Brazilian friends back home say “I told you Brazil is crazy, right?” and I agree with the fire emoji. I think having zero expectations prior to the trip is what enhanced my experience. It’s a scary feeling at first, my advice is to embrace the turbulence and have some Redbull because you won’t want to miss a single thing once you arrive in Sao Paulo. power naps got me through. For someone who functions well on consistency and routine, I was apprehensive about commuting every day. I’m glad I could be fully present in the moment. I loved the subway, the markets, the buildings, the streets, the tagging, and of course loved dancing. I will never get tired of the beautiful faces of Brazil. I miss our friends from campus B and USP. How do you go back from eating at a Michelin star restaurant and a Brazilian BBQ by the beach?
Tchau for now! Beijos xxxx
Here’s my sentimental Spotify playlist for the flight back home:
Crazy – Seal
Mercy Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye
Runaway love – Ludacris ft Mary J Blige
Speed of sound – Coldplay
A luz de Tieta – Caetano Veloso
She lives in my lap – OutKast.
Conversion – Khruangbin
The Zephyr song – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Mama I’m sorry – Brenda Fassie.