Matter is neither created nor destroyed, and yet, Earth is slowly sinking through this galaxy.
The weight of the unrisen is too heavy.
There are moments that move so slowly time trickles from the woman’s mouth like molasses. Nilote Nurse X3452 stares at the woman and sighs, Poor, poor Icarus… he was only a boy. But you are woman and you still think like that little Greek boy- your silence the size of burning feathered wings.
The nurse’s skin is so black it looks wet. The Nilotes say their black is the color of a darkness that sighs like creaky shoes but the woman only sees slick tar and a wide gaping mouth. I am dizzy, she says to the nurse.
From my words…or my skin? The nurse asks. When the nurse gets no response, it tries again. We are not the enemy… Mahmoud Darwish, a human poet, wrote: a place is not only a geographical area; it’s also a state of mind…Your species is capable of so much abstraction. Why is it hard for you to understand that Earth- the way you know it at least- no longer exists?
The soldiers were guarding the dream, but I will enter it when they sleep, the woman whispers.
Ahh! The nurse claps its hands in joy. So you do know Darwish?
I know you are guarding, the woman responds.
The nurse pauses, Earth is sinking…not because of any science or sense, but because your people forgot that the bodies falling to the bottom of the ocean matter. What was slavery? Atomic detonation? Piracy? The ivory daggered tooth sitting in the front of the nurse’s mouth begins to rotate. You are falling…like Earth… like Icarus.
The woman is silent.
The nurse continues, Even though I am the resurrection, it is a mental exercise to think of the weight of all those bodies tossed over slave ships. Falling… falling into your oceans. But the Nilotes rose when the clarion called… We cannot guard what does not want to live.
Is this living? The woman asks.
Yes, though not as you know it. We would have given you wings, daughter of Icarus… but you are falling. Poor, poor you.
She fell then, as though her skeletons were an emaciated kiosk of bones. Too weak, not enough resurrection, another replies.
The nurse picks up her limp body and takes her back to the ward.
Humans are too weak; not enough resurrection.
“I know I am a writer, but sometimes it’s a bit difficult to give words to things that are so deeply burrowed away. As a performer I want people to think! A wise friend of mine says, ‘God gave you a brain! Don’t insult Him by not using it!’ So if I can provide a safe space for people to interrogate what they see as ‘normal’ or a ‘given,’ then I am doing my job.” [Melissa Kiguwa, in an interview with IN KAMPALA magazine]
Melissa Kiguwa has had a pretty busy year. She was part of 2014 Writivism Workshop and Mentorship, she was mentored by Yewande Omotoso. She also published her first collection of poetry, Reveries of Longing. (Read review). And she just got longlisted for the continent-wide 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize for her story “The Wound of Shrinking”. Read more of her at her blog.