“Today, I declare my war with you to be over.
I will no longer grip your throat or hold a sword to your sides for I no longer seek to be better than you, to be greater than you, or to be worthier than you.
I have sent my high horse scampering gratefully towards the wilds whence it came; all I have is my broken feet – tethered to the dark and mushy dirt as yours are, our common heritage.
And though I sometimes see the world in ways that are different in your vision, I recognize that my visions could not possibly thrive if yours aren’t breathing, and that no gaze is complete, total or absolute; I recognize that we are allies in ways that transcend our games of belief, of creed, and of sides. We are siblings in wordless places.
I no longer see you as fodder for my salvation, as flotsam on the ocean of my inner promiscuities, as the circumference of a circle that revolves around me. We are the circle – together, you and I – and yet part of a circle with no conceivable circumference and no sacred essences.
I have given up on the race that promised the heavens to both of us – and yet silently cast us in a drama of finish lines, broken tapes and polished trophies…in the game of winners and losers, of sinners and angels. Let my legacy, my memory, my enlightenment be you – in all your messiness, in your threadbare vulnerability.
Today, I bring a plate of peace-porridge to your fleshy feet – not to embrace you as a convenient other, not to climb higher towards the neon light of moral superiority, not to obey a distant creed – but to recognize you as my now-source, my destiny, my middle-places, and my wonderful contradiction.
Today I reclaim you – we are together royals of fleeting kingdoms, orphans of the lost, co-weavers of the present, magnificent beyond our words, our boundaries, our stampede for power, our realities, and the curious ideas that suggest you and I are separate and undone.
Today my war with you ends. I see you.”
– Bayo Akomolafe, The Wilds Beyond our Fences
Photography by Brett Walker