• Desola Olaleye

Swimming with the Crocodiles

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

Portrait of a Missing Person © Andrea Walls

Brown, ugly, uncultured, subhuman

Is this how I appear before the privileged other, whose soul is reputedly embroidered with the whitest of threads, and decorated with bright lights to reveal 'purity' as its essence?

You say you swim in clean, chlorinated water – the same colour as your eyes

And I swim in brown, muddy water which camouflages my skin;

Creating a safe harbour for me and my beloved crocodile friends.


My soul has travelled to many places

Having embodied multiple be-ings, I long for the ultimate becoming.

Vagrant is the colour of my soul; searching, always, for home(s).

I have tried to place myself and failed.

I am not a stone, but grains of sand blown by the wind;

Each grain struggling to find its own resting place.

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