Communion and romantic friendships on the 5th floor over a portion of £3.50 chips. We pounded Harlem’s pavements and stood on the steps of Langston’s brownstone hoping to smell his kitchen awake, his name on the door still. 135th and Gil Scott-Heron. Have you ever seen the sun colour in five miles of concrete? A green-eyed sister sang to me about Black love in a uptown bookstore but I learned my accent from the BBC that I can’t pronounce and responded with cut off vowels, imitating a war of roses, feeling closer to my colonisers than ever. We were superheroes or revolutionaries rolling rizlas, I can’t remember the difference, but only in South London parks, on cheap blankets, on high hills. Homegrown. I choked myself on my 21st birthday with home truths, my throat was dry for 3 days, I stopped drinking. I saw Zora Howard read ‘Waffles’ twice with crispness similar to her chicken. Morrison, Baldwin and Díaz. Men that weren’t him said my name with urgency, believed in my thighs laid compensation and told me I would birth something each belonging to them. I preferred when I was too fat and they kept their distance with snakes around their necks in Brooklyn hallways. Now when the women are in bible class I obsess over illustrations and comics book characters feeding a carnal appetite church never did.