issue 2: oct 2015, Poetry
Comment 1

Home, to a man by Amina Jama

Home, to a man
A home without breasts is just a house

Nooks and crannies need to be cleared,
mother taught me
never be envious of others houses
they only wish to break down yours,
men wish to break it down.

I’m the lucky one,
I know that much
but I can feel the paint peeling
from the bathroom walls.
I don’t know what I’ll do
when it finally falls.

Nooks and crannies need to be cleared,
Mama told me to never give away
my spare keys
that it is sacred between God and I,
but she makes a pair for any
wealthy man arranging a visit.

Mama refuses to buy sanitary towels
in the household shopping
She asks what will you do
if your brothers see them,
if they see that your house is dirty?
She says Hishod naya,
Have shame, girl.

Nooks and crannies need to be cleared,
I once turned off all the lights
I swear I felt my soul leave the house,
I said Good for you girl!
You deserve to be happy.

Nooks and crannies must be cleared.
When a man comes to view your house
it must be clean.
Don’t just sweep
the dirt under the carpet.
Trim
that rug.
Make sure all your corridors
are clear of impurities

Make sure your living room is presentable,
it is the bosom of your home.
Stay in the kitchen or the bedroom,
mama tells me,
so he can watch you in your
natural habitat.

Mama taught me I must
speak my mind, though
every man is allowed to test
out my home before he buys it.
So if he wants to inspect,
let him beg to witness all your rooms
and if he breaks down your walls,
give in, maybe.
Mama taught me to be wary
of handing him all my glory at once.
He must also do some polishing of edges.

Nooks and crannies must be cleared.
Perhaps, by a
man.

Amina Jama is an 18 year old East African girl living in East London. You can find her on instagram and twitter. Illustration by Bich.

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