To the Woman on the Bus

In Bob’s footsteps by Zohra Opoku
In Bob’s footsteps
Zohra Opoku, Screenprint on cotton, jeans, thread; 9.25 × 6.5 feet, 2017.

I hear the things in your head
but you won’t speak (to me).

I know—

I hear water rushing
into my head
beating against my brain.

Now, to think you hide such a body of water,
with flotsam, ships of voyagers, enigmas on rafts,
sinking dreams, fears, boys who end up as mermans,
escaped convicts.

I hear deep rumblings. It is your sea’s deeps.
Yours is a city in fear of a deluge,
your heart is home to an overflow—

Your eyes hold a flood
that can ruin a country.

 

Jumoke Verissimo is the author of two poetry collections, “I am memory” and “The Birth of Illusion,” in which she explores personal experiences and public concerns to examine the effects of trauma. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Zohra Opoku is a German/Ghanaian multidisciplinary artist living and working in Accra. She uses installation, sculpture, and photography to conceptualize West African traditions, spirituality, and the thread of family lineage as they relate to self-authorship and the politics of her hybrid identity. Represented by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery Seattle, she has exhibited work and attended residencies across Africa, the United States, and Europe.