The Ghost of SX MPhil
“I stand at the threshold of cyberspace and wonder, am I unwelcome here, too?” – Essex Hemphill
I’m dying all over again & this time, there are no rooms for me in cyberspace, so I carry my trauma elsewhere. I call my family on the phone & I’m met with that Manhattan silence. I go to a local DC bar & I turn tourist attraction. White men still don’t know how to act around food, slobbering & hungering for that jungle fever. I’m so sick of being prey, so I go haunting. I hang over a hate-sunken city & name myself its chosen nemesis. Murdered boys from al-Qatif & Gusau & Baghdad & Adelaide & Bondi & Glasgow & Bahia & Ontario & Santiago & Dublin & Tel Aviv & Amman & Kingston & San Juan & Porto & Belgrade & Doha & Freetown & Gauteng & Gaza & Deir ez-Zor & Vigo & Istanbul & Kampala & Rotherham & Vancouver & Lagos & Orlando climb up the stairwell beside me. Wronged bodies thirsting for blood. We are coming home. We are coming home.
Kanyinsola Olorunnisola’s work has appeared in Al Jazeera, Popula, Jalada, Overland, Bakwa & elsewhere. He won the 2017 Fisayo Soyombo National Essay Prize, the 2020 Speculative Literary Foundation’s Diverse Writers Grant & the 2020 K&L Prize for African Literature. He was a finalist for the 2020-2021 Glass Chapbook Series & the 2019 Koffi Addo Prize. He was longlisted for the 2019 SSDA Prize & the 2020 Toyin Falola Prize. He earned a 2021 Puschcart Prize nomination & an Honorable Mention for the 2020 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.
*Image by Nathan Wright on Unsplash