A session on dead things and little pleasures
by hn. lyonga

I dedicate this to my sister and the women who walk white streets everyday hiding themselves in fear.

On the day Nelson Mandela died
I dragged a malnourished body through muddy streets
then paid to hurl my guts about everything wrong with my life. And. Little pleasures that hold
them together.
My therapist is a black woman.
So, when I say; skin, she says I understand, I have one too. And hypervisibility and invisibility are sides of the same coin.
I gesture. She nods.
I tell her about drifting through Alexander Platz in afro-puffs and skin-tight jeans
about the girl who said; good god! this is Germany not Ghana. what the fuck is that thing you are trawling your body in, go back to Africa – you bimbo slut
I love it when married men choose me over their wives and I replenish their preeminence and
they fill my mouth with vitality. And. Their white dreams become mine.
I’m twenty-one with no aspiration
because I was raised to be ok with what I was given
to never question the MAN, to respect emblems
and not end up another body in a bag. And gunshot injuries
raised to survive – so I can live long enough to believe euphoria is a thing to be experienced
when I beam at my reflection, my demons laugh. They reply. They gloat.
I gain weight around my thighs and they caress and contuse in the summer
I’m two months post-relaxer. & I’m loving this new growth.
I downloaded Facebook last night & I’m cat-fishing my ex with pictures of the type of girl he likes
what is beauty anyway, I always want to tell myself I am beautiful enough – but I really don’t know if I can fully believe it
where are the movies about black inventors and entrepreneurs, what happened in Auschwitz, where did all the Afro-German folks disappear to. What heaven. What hell?
90—days fiancé is a new show I want to binge-watch
deep down I know I will never get married
my brother’s wife is without a clue of how much he loves to dress-up and succour alpha-males when she’s away on a visit and I bury mysteries in my gut
I decided my math teacher can fill me up next week




I Said. Last night, I slow-danced
with a needle and a blade
because someday, it will happen and I want to be prepared.
It was 3:45am. when they finally departed
when Kai’s bang reached through to the other side of the wall separating our rooms
indicating it was time.
Time I stopped feeding strays,

time I stopped giving away what was holy and mine,

time I stopped searching…

stripped and beguiled by three men I picked up on a rail travel to a city of hope.
Tastebuds of absolute madmen.
Their stench will stay with me until the right one finally rears its head
when they thrust their hips in mine, I say; amen – I want it all.
I lay my back to the ground.
I do not heed, not while I ride the high.
I do not see their faces.
I hear them moaning and worshipping from afar.
I am present. But. I am not seen.
one of the men tells me he is 55% attracted to me
what’s the other 45% – I ask
sometimes, I’m at sea
sometimes, I wanna be alone
sometimes, I wanna stay enveloped – head to toe
I might try medicating.
What drug. What dream. What dead thing will I force down my throat today?

hn. lyonga is a Berlin-based Poet, Creative-writer and Activist. Currently, he is a Master’s student of American Studies at Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in American Culture and Sociology from the University of Kassel. He is a founding member of the Black Student Union at Humboldt and a member of the Kuratorium of BARAZANI.berlin – Forum Kolonialismus und Widerstand.