Plot With Bobi Wine & His Wife on January 16, 2021

by Nome Emeka Patrick


Our flaw is: we started to dance when the song wasn’t playing.

Everywhere, it was shining in Nigeria—& somewhere

Museveni has just been crowned the President. Thirty-five years

with a head heavy, tilted sideways by the crown. The old radio

spits: What is the problem with Africa? Later that night, when you

stood in the kitchen, turning the bleaching plantain on the fire,

you asked—not looking at me—what is the problem of Africa? In the

dark, I touched your lips with mine & my finger found the crown

of your breast—I whispered nothing, nothing. Somewhere in Uganda,

Bobi Wine is sitting at his desk, or prancing in his room, or singing

a lullaby to his child or just thinking of what next. What next? the

paper would read tomorrow—What is the next step for Uganda?—but

we won’t be able to read the papers because it’d be a Sunday, &

we’d rather be yelling at God’s silence than yelling at the newspaper’s

stand. The Truth is: something shifts inside us—it’s the fact that

we both dreamt Bobi Wine was president. In your dream, he was in

an old rickety Toyota & people chanted his name. In mine, he walked

the country with a crown, chanting the people’s names as if from

an invisible scroll unfurling in his head—a grace. The night is silent,

& you say the world today feels like a graveyard. I imagine the word world

transformed into night—makes more sense how we could personalize

someone else’s loss. I mean we stood absent of ourselves (right?), angry

at our hearts for beating terrific. I was Bobi Wine & you were Bobi Wine’s

wife & the night was Uganda. Dear, we should go to bed, morning will come.



Nome Emeka Patrick is a blxck bxy. His works have been published or forthcoming in POETRY, AGNI, TriQuarterly, Poet Lore, Black Warrior Review and elsewhere. A Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and Pushcart prize nominee, his manuscript We Need New Moses. Or New Luther King was a finalist for the 2019 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. Say hi on Twitter: @nome__patrick.