and we sing
‘this place ain’t for you anymore, anymore
even air moves different from before, from before’
my work aunt once told me about this crowd that arrived.
took homes and changed streets
left people; moved people.
she said they got the loud-mouth racist and her business
relocated; the bus stop with the locals relocated too.
I told her about the hospital where sis watched
10 nurses tend to 1 baby;
then watched a male consultant tell me, no
he hadn’t read my notes, no
he hadn’t seen my scans, or got my message either;
asked, was I sure I’d sent it to the right people?
aunty told me, it’s only gonna get worse.
what it must be, to change tribe and territory
how human can human be if comfort uproots relation;
if destruction is done with ease?
I told aunty he’d smiled
all lips but no teeth, all eyes but no light;
said the treatment would be fine.
nevermind the fainting and the hot flashes
the pendulous mood swings and the brittle bones
ready to split a body already ripened for cancer
soon flooded with the hormones for it.
we laughed at what money can buy:
safety of a house, comfort in a new community
a life of greater humanity;
maybe that’s why we wanted it so bad, when we were kids.
maybe that’s why they keep it from us now.
‘this place wasn’t really ever yours, ever yours’
Eljae‘s writing has typically centred the doing of relationships and how we construct ourselves as people; more recently exploring Blackness, rest, and resistance. While currently accepting commissions, Eljae is looking to develop her practice, and expand into different mediums.”