Condoleezza Rice“Condoleezza Rice, Africa’s first elected woman leader pledges to end cycle of violence” (Guardian, Jan 17 2006)
This room it choke me black with full up air of hundred tiny fires hanging off hands and mouths like flies we see in night but devil red not green of stream. It make me raw in body it make me cannot see her till she close enough to touch this hand and force it up and down to ground firm like man
She young. She got white teeth and hair and skin, an all colours she wearin look like white to me. Light of heaven. We sit up high my feet in air but she tap river floor
wiv river toe sitting like bird on market melon stall she got bird nose, small arms and legs and neck. Don’t let her break in storm. Lord.
She leave so quick. It loud in here, she disappear for ever. Come back. Break through cloud wiv water so cold it gone hard in places. It torture my teeth. She gon save me wiv wit from hed. She talk of “cort”, I been in there it feard me bad but now she go and save my life, I ask her be my wife it make her rage in eyes, I see, but smile and say “that cannot be, we need to concentrate on your case” I don’t know what that is.
She ask me ‘bout what goin on,‘bout what I done? Evil got no reason. They want men dead they want my body fight or die. I never harm a lizard on the road I pick it up to feel it flick in cup of hand, why I touch man? They murder me I inside but God he make my body stay. I don’t know why.
“We meant to meet” I say, “it His way”. She look down. Sorry. I don’t speak now. Wont hurt her more. She don’t know of men who come in dark, and leave black faces shinin in fire that scrunch up house to only a cooking pot filled with ash, and flesh that spit and slide off, make girl scream so loud they gun her face away.
I see it clear in front my eye where no-one else lookin. Too hot to touch my tongue, so strong would smash my teeth and clog up blood This demon fog would choke my life to say.
She speak me words I cant get sense like “s’licitore” an “guvment”. Oh when she say “law” I think me safe wiv Christian woman. But it different. She show me floppy fan of words press hand on picture face “Condoleezza” she call her.
She old. She wearin white on head on dress on fat of ear, white pip line lie on brown chest curved like river bank, even name is white: it ‘Rice’. New President.
“Time to go home” she say
Liberia too far. Too dark. It hurt it hurt it hurt.