HairCream

The bus smells like hair cream
Coconut oil hair cream
Not the ‘pure’ coconut oil that you found abroad
and that you’ve grown to love
The coconut oil hair cream that you grew up with as a child
The one that had all those nice yet funny names like Indian hemp, and blue magic, coconut oil hair conditioner

It smells like the sweltering heat,
of the hair dressers room
A room that somehow never has power
A room that isn’t always a room
and is sometimes just a roof over your head

It smells like ‘attachment’, itchy and sticky
Sticking to your skin as they ‘draw’ it
It smells like the hands of your hair dresser
and all the amateur hair dressers working with her
It smells like hair cream on your attachment
as the hairdressers move swiftly and deftly,
pushing your hair this way and that
so their work is perfect, so that you’re happy

It smells like hawkers with their corn and plantains, with their groundnut, it smells like fan yogo, it smells like gala. It smells like the gutters

It smells like hair in hot water, boiling water
It smells like burnt braids
It smells like beads, and hair bobbles, and hair clips and accessories
that never had names but always made you feel pretty

The bus smells like hair cream
The bus smells like coconut oil hair cream
The bus smells like home
Can you smell home?

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