Saudade

Sunshine and cigarettes and the sound and smell of the surf as it skirts the shore. Hot and heavy with humidity, the ocean air is tangy on my tongue and sticky on my skin. The breeze causes a skeletal¬† rattle from the coconut tree fronds above me, and I absent-mindedly pick up a fallen baby coconut from the sand, rolling the still green fruit in the palm of my hand. Pausing to examine the smooth green exocarp, I imagine I can see a cartoon lion’s face in the natural patterns and smile lazily in amusement. Continue reading

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Crepuscule

Aside

Sunset brings respite from the heat of the day, and the city of N’Djam√©na breathes out a collective sigh of relief as its inhabitants go through the routines of settling in for the night. Inside, my mother and sister are preparing dinner, and from my seat on the still-warm cement of our front porch, I absorb the last of the early spring day. We have reached the end of harmattan’s towering dust clouds, and this year’s hot season has not quite crescendoed to full strength. Continue reading