Does it Hurt?

She shivered

“The pain is there

but I can’t feel it.”


warm breath misted

the window.

It’s been days since I read a discussion about #KasaraniConcentrationCamp. There is a thing that is broken inside us. I have written about this before. The numbness bothers me. The refusal to feel the pain of this removal. Instead we look for causes halfway across the world.

“Safe” causes.

We cry for Goodluck Jonathan to bring back our girls from the Chibok even as it takes months for a single rape case in Kenya to get heard by a court. This is the battle that we fight every day.

On twitter a woman gets in trouble for making the outrageous claim that her body is her own.

The knife is shoved deeper, dead things keep crunching.


A blind man

walks into

an existential


He does not

see it.

Even these words feel forced. In trying to find what has been hidden from view I am unbecoming myself. Again we are reminded that Kenya is safe. I lock my door twice every evening. Up the road they present us with dead bodies. Pride gleams in their eyes. “We have caught the thieves.” Pride gleams in our eyes.

I lock my door twice every evening.

President Kenyatta spends time hanging out with Akon. His instagram explodes. Suddenly, he is cool. Somewhere in Kenya another body is crushed by a system that is designed to churn out bodies. The knife plunges itself further. We do not feel the pain.

They were packaged beatings,

behind closed doors,

and broken windows.


Like the tree,

falling in the forest,

they never happened


–          Witness #86

And those who decide to see are ignored. Shot down. Reminded that they are crazy. It is never a problem, until it is. Soon they begin to doubt their credibility. Their scars lose their stories. Then, slowly, they are forgotten. And no one comes up and goes “hey, what happened there?”

Instead broken bodies roam the streets pretending to be whole.

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