Coco-yam Country
by hn. lyonga

25. A mother of three who works the red-light district in six-inch heels: her thoughts on a Friday night. A woman from the valleys of Coco-yam country is here. Deities visiting bodies. Grass skirts waving. Mother of two melanated girls and a boy. My daughters and other black girls rock. We speak spells and own bodies that slips through their fingers. Make them pay.
Man, woman, it makes no difference.
I own a degree from Humboldt and student loans.
Pay-up! Pay-up! Pay-up!
An empty purse and a fur jacket.
Pay-up! Pay-up! Pay-up!
An expired passport and mouths to feed in another country.
Pay-up! Pay-up! Pay-up!
All money is good money if it puts a roof over your head.
My kids be eating good. They be smiling real hard.
What you don’t know is: my body remains a temple even after I let their greedy limbs feed.
Men take. They take. And take. So, I compartmentalise.
Every night, I empty myself into a Calabash. And then into a creek.
I become born-again in salt.
Netflix was great last night. 3:45am sips of Ciroc.
A warm body in a bed that’s not mine, yelling, come here, shut up and peel me out of my skin. My old man in a shack. Paid like Beyonce. Diva getting money. Fierce nymph with a wig from Akarawe. I wonder: where am I going to die, when, how. In pain? In a ditch somewhere? Who will take care of my seeds? How deep. How far into the ground does a mother’s love go? What if the Mona Lisa was a Black woman – would we travel far to see her? Bride needs new shoes and some books. Women & markets. Women are markets and products men make money with. Don’t judge me, I’m getting mine. 

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.