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Home Is Where My Heart Is

The other night I had a dream. I was with my family eating boiled yam and nkwobi. Or at least that’s what it seemed like, we were trying to eat. Instead there was more talking going on than anything else. Suppressed emotions bubbling to the tip of our tongues then bearing themselves out as disappointment even hope. Hope that one day, in a land where all things are living and true, we will meet again.

If my grandmother were here she would ask me to take heart and to be strong. But grief does not care about how many hearts you have received as a donation, it lingers around your chest regardless. Waiting for just the most unexpected hour to slip into your dreams, to turn a familiar scent into a rain of tears, to remind you that yes it is still there as a part of your lineage scattered across all your bloodline, buried amongst your vital organs and that no matter how carefully you tread it must show up at any hour of it's choosing without warning, like it's mother death which took your loved ones away from you. It comes like an unexpected guest in the night, unwelcome and loud.

Home is where I want to be always, but home has now become for me a turning thing. A place of remembrance and of longing. Home is no longer a physical destination where I can travel to, it has become a place in my dreams where I go to try to eat with family and instead we turn memories of disappointment or hope in each other's mouth until I wake up to its distance. Home is somewhere in my chest where my heart is. Very close yet very far. Alive within myself, asking me to return to it whenever I like.

Arusi Quera (they/them) is an Igbo sculpturist & writer; constantly interrogating the human condition.

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