in the nude…

The day came when darkness erupted,
The weak were weakened,
The strong were strengthened,
The tenets of morality became inequality and depravity,
Molestation was the norm,
And every child unshielded from the inhumanity,
Grew scrawny and pale at the necrotizing parasite,
Insanity reigned, and blood buckets poured,
Africans were dirt, women were mute,
Most sold into captivity,
That of a wife or that of a slave,
The hour was dark, dark as night,
But it was not night, merely a colored day,
Painted with the tar of evil,
But the day came and the day passed,
Passed on in the twilight,
In the darkest of the dusk,
Restored to white in the dawn,
Light was light and the sun rose,
The female was a foe no more,
And the change was cultivated in the law,
The saw of demons,
Was blunted and soon stunted,
The power that was lost was regained,
And from the red that poured
Sprouted a flowery rainbow of beauty that reigned,
The days were once again white,
And light was the day,
The pigment in my skin,
Was celebrated and respected,
The ban on it was lifted, upended and away it drifted,
Humans were humans, beasts were beasts
Forever buried and forgotten was the humanly beast,
No more of that beastly human,
Not in the south, north, west or even in the east

“But the day came and the day passed.” This I tried to recite and mouth as loudly as I could in the courtroom benches, hoping and praying that at some unknown point in time I too would believe it. Nudity had an almost perverse ability of unveiling parts unknown, unknown even to the wearer of the hide. It could reveal a hope within burning low but burning nonetheless or in my case unmask the hideous visage of a buried fear, grotesque and grim in appearance demanding an audience at last.
It had been my first excursion out since the incident, every step outside of the comfort of my home was now forever marred. I breathed the alcohol of fear evaporating from my skin, and was almost always immediately crucified with all the unending stares and detailed scrutiny that society had now accorded me. I did not want to be the victim but the world had already callously cast me for the role and all I could do now was retreat into my cave and hide, an action that would have simply perturbed a previous version of self. After all I had always preached the sermon of strength, a Samsonian kind of strength, the kind that removes you from the darkest recesses of the abyss.
But this trip I had to make ,it was the only way my tormentors were to ever face the full brunt of the law .I remembered that day so meticulously, the memory was psychedelic and once I recalled it my body was transported. I could feel the tarmac that I trekked on my soles and even hear the noisy backdrop as I made my way to the bus station. The town was in pandemonium as was the rule, hawkers escaping from the police while simultaneously selling their knick knacks, endless knockings from the shoulders of the ‘bees’ buzzing about their apparent errands.
My mind was so caught up in all the excitement of a big city life I did not even notice the crowd of men approaching me and howling chants. Before I knew it I was pinned on the ground and the demonic ritual of disrobing me commenced. Despite the horrific din of my cries and shouts no one even tried to stop them and the irony was that it all happened in plain day light.
On receiving the summons to appear in court, a violent lurch in my stomach erupted and immediately I vomited. Just the thought of facing those beasts a second time tore at my sanity. Paranoia levels in my body were elevated but I knew that I had to do this, so as to at least save even one other woman from the wretchedness I had survived.
“And we call Julia Onyango to the stand as the second witness.”
On hearing my name, the selective quivers of my legs, lips and arms were immediately reinstated I then glanced at the accused hesitantly wondering if their gaze would persuade me to retreat and cower once again. To my surprise I immediately recognised their appearance, it was the symbol of shame plastered all over their faces, and they could barely look at me for a second without turning their heads. I had encountered that very expression in my reflection every day since the attack; I blamed myself for provoking them, forcing their hand. I had been serving their sentence of shame for them and now it was time to pass on the baton.
Hitherto, I had never once looked at their faces, their naked faces without the makeup of power and tyranny. All I could see now was the profound ignorance, men cloaked in ignorance, an ignorance that was relentless in its punishment. The punishing scorn of shame was more than enough punishment for a lifetime. Not only had they violated me by brutally accosting, stripping and beating me to a pulp but they had also assaulted themselves and their conscience. But I was now glad that my scars were only superimposed on my skin, a skin that would heal and soon enough become my weapon against all the ignorance of such misogyny.
The time had come for me to bare myself to the court, tell the tale and marvel at my own nudity. Nakedness definitely did have a potent power to reveal parts unknown; to my utter surprise it had once again revealed to me that I had outgrown the dress of fear and pain. I brazenly walked up to the stand shining in all the glory of my pain, and I finally believed my own poetry indeed the day had come and passed and no more remained of that beastly human.

testing the theory

“Of what?”

“Why, the beginning of course.”

“The beginning of what exactly?”

“This,you and me ,us,everyone,society.Ever heard of the ‘social contract’?”

“I might have,maybe an inkling to what you refer,”he said sarcastically.

“Rousseau,Yes ! As brilliant in his philosophy as he was in his compositions.”

“Do you really think so?Wasn’t he just a temperamental nut with all that psychobabble about the so-called ‘noble savage’.You’re not buying that,are you?”Eyes dashing about quizzically.

“Yes and no,let’s put it like this I’m an agnostic romantic.”

“fine then,i will cure you of your disease.”

“What disease?”

“A man can not live a life riddled with uncertainty,I shall remedy you from the hold of uncertainty.I will test his theory.”

“Oh wow,I’d really like to see that.Enlighten me again on how this is to be done? I was always led to believe that a contract of that manner can not be revoked and the prior situation restored.If in fact it occurred it must have changed the very fabric of what was.This cake can not be had, not even by you.

“Faith,have some faith!And i assure you this i will solve and resolve the matter for good.All in due time.”

Now it had been a month,a tireless month filled with insomnia and anxiety.The time had come for the final tally of his findings.Was it really possible to lead a completely clandestine existence,removed from all humanity and somewhat,by some grace prosper long enough to tell the tale?

Philosophy certainly has a way of evening out the score,reducing the teacher to the student and elevating the student to the teacher.But i need not worry it was just a paper after all,in spite of this student’s remarkable insight how many papers have been and will be entirely the constructs of ramblings and inadequate prose of the hopelessly confused.But then again he could be at the precipice,revealing the truths of the very beginnings of everything we revere or not.I certainly hope not ,for nothing else but because I was rather proud of my doctorate dissertation that was incidentally on the very opposing end of this spectrum.

And then he arose to deliver to the esteemed faculty his work and he began.