2011: The Back Story

Author’s Note:
This is the back story to the poem 2011. If you haven’t read it, click here
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person or place is purely coincidental.


DAY 90
0500 GMT

My eyes flicked open suddenly. In the semi-darkness I groped for my earphones. Then I lurched towards the table where the extension board lay. The amber lights glowed insidiously. I unplugged my phone and pitched back into bed. I slid the phone up and started my music player. Then I hugged my pillow tight as the hot tears streaked down my cheeks. I bit into it, muffling my sobs.


0800 GMT

I made my way towards my department. Head bowed, listening to music. I passed by Baffour and the gang at the carpark where they usually ogled the girls and catcalled them. I went through the gate and winced. The studio was in a mess again. The lecturer was certainly going to lay into me again. “Why did I even volunteer to be course rep?” I muttered to myself. I went and dumped my bag in my usual spot at the front of the class and grabbed a broom. Quickly I started sweeping. The talkative girls in the class hushed up at the sweeping strokes. I paused briefly to adjust the earphones.

“Hi.” I turned around. It was Mavis again. She flashed her gap-toothed smile at me. I grimaced. “Hey.” I replied. “Need a hand?”  she motioned towards the part of the studio still unswept. I shrugged. “As for you di3.” She came for the broom and punched me playfully. Meanwhile the chatter had gone back up again. I stepped back as Mavis sashayed across the space. For a few minutes I watched her apple bottom going through the motions then I went back into the lecture hall.

A few minutes later she plonked into the seat right beside mine. Looking a bit disheveled but still beaming a wide smile at me. Mavis had big eyes and a snub nose. Her smile was electric though. She wore an orange t shirt with the inscription “Pinch me I’m cute”. I smiled, or tried to.

The lecturer curtly walked into class and I snapped forward, before Mavis could try to make any conversation.

1100 GMT

I milled through the sea of students pouring out of the small department gate. I heard someone call my name. I turned. It was Mavis, all five foot-two of her pear figure swept underfoot in the rush. There was only one lecture on Fridays, so most people usually rushed to the bus station to catch the bus to Accra. I wasn’t going anywhere this weekend though. My immediate concern was brunch. I hadn’t had anything to eat. I went straight to the car park to wait for Mavis. I don’t know why she was calling me.

“Who you de chok, ma guy?” queried Baffour. He was seated on the short wall with his cronies. I looked him in the eye and shrugged. Baffour scratched his aquiline nose and glared back. He had a hawkish feel about him. His gold necklace glinted in the sunlight as he bobbed his head to some hip-hop music one of his friends was playing. “I sure say he de chok Mavis.” Frosty, one of his buds replied.  I gave him the once over.
“That girl de feel you charle. If you no like a, tell me make I handle am cos the dull things you de do di3. The way she de bee san so get body, everybody en eye dey top.” I sighed. Not this again. “I no know what I go tell you sef.” I looked at him again. I towered over him. Presently I felt an arm wrap round my waist. I knew who it was without even looking. “Let’s go.” She whispered.
“Mavis.” Baffour called out. “Yes, Baffour. How can I help you.” Her shrill voice pitched almost musically. “You for come visit me sometime o. This jon boy you de follow no go help you. The way I de feel you, you for come make I show you some one-two bi like that.” Baffour made to hold her free hand. Mavis giggled, and side stepped. “No thank you Baffour. Besides aren’t you dating Mawusi? You know she’s my friend.” “Oh, abi you too you be ma friend. If you come visit me what go happen? You de do like I be some distin. You di3 e chill.”
“Mavis let’s go. I’m hungry.” I pulled her away from the car park and walked away. “Aww.” She rubbed my stomach. “Let’s go to my hostel. I cooked some food.” I nodded and let her lead me away.

As we made through the path to her hostel behind campus, we spoke. Mavis is my best friend’s girlfriend. He happened to be in another school. So I was kinda in charge of her wellbeing here. You’d never know, from the way she looked out for me. Not that I cared. Nothing really moved me.

I absentmindedly flicked my phone up. The love of my life beamed back at me. Penny. It had been ninety days since the incident. I reached for my earphones from my pocket almost immediately. Mavis smacked my hand. “I told you. When you’re walking with me no earphones.” She punched me in the shoulder again.

We reached the ruins of a wall which corralled her hostel. I reached across. “Help me over.” Mavis beckoned. Don’t look at me funny. It was either the wall or the main gate. The hostel manager didn’t like boys coming to the hostel for any reason. Everyone avoided him by using the ruined wall route. I picked her up like a child. There are advantages to being six foot-six. She snuggled right on my shoulder and I carried her to her room. It was an unspoken rule we had. I caught a whiff of her perfume. She smelled like frangipani blossoms.

Wordlessly we went right into the meal. Rice and gravy. Not like I was going to eat anything better if I had gone to my room. Mavis had no roommate. Who would? If their room was a cramped cubicle only twice as big as I was tall. Somehow though it seemed spacious. Maybe it was the way she arranged her stuff in the room. There was one window with twin shutters which filtered in rays of light. We never bother to turn the lights on. I went to her porch to do the dishes while she went to take a shower. I took the plates back inside. The curtain separating her bathroom from the rest of the room rustled. I looked up and saw Mavis.

Mavis had her towel wrapped around her. The ceiling fan creaked noisily in the silence that followed. A bead of sweat trickled down my temple. It was steamy all of a sudden. “Come here.” I croaked. Wordlessly she waltzed to me and unbuckled my trousers none too gently as I sat on her cot. She straddled me and I felt the hairy warmth between her legs. Her lips were slightly parted. We kissed furiously as her towel fell to the floor.


1500 GMT

I picked up my clothes from the floor and put them on. Mavis was still sleeping. In the half light, she looked childlike. Her small breasts heaved rhythmically. I touched her cheek and she murmured her boyfriend’s name. I grabbed my bag and stole out of the room. I went to the bus stop and hailed a taxi headed to the shore. I needed to get my mind off this.

About half a kilometre from the beach, I got out and trekked. The sea gleamed turquoise today. The sea spray was cooling as it buffeted my clothes. I walked out to the waves. There was a cluster of rocks which showed at low tide. I perched atop it and looked into the great expanse. I pulled out my phone and flicked it open. I went to messages and immediately dialed in a familiar number. Message one hundred and seventy-eight. “I slept with Mavis again today. I don’t think its her fault. Maybe she misses her boyfriend that’s why she gets with me. She’s a good girl though. She’s funny and has a beautiful smile. But she got nothing on you. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. She’s my best friend’s girl. I miss you. I miss talking to you. Hearing your voice going loco over some stuff you really like. Please text me back.” My finger hovered over the send button. I pressed the “save as draft” button and pushed my phone back into my pocket. The breakers swirled at the bottom of the rock. It was a quiet beach day though. No one else was here. I grabbed my phone in my pocket and squeezed. I felt the plastic splinter a little. I wanted to throw something. I looked at the horizon and screamed.


2348 GMT

The music blared across the hall floor. My vision swam, as I cradled a cup full of punch in my hand. Cup number twenty-six. The room was humid with the sweaty bodies of boys and girls dancing and groping. I withdrew into the inner room. It was dark. I reached out of support as I tottered in. I touched flesh and a girl squealed. “Charle you for make steady o.” a gruff voice intoned. “Boss sorry wai.” I apologized and sat on the floor.

I was holding Marvin’s room phone. He had a landline in the room. Perks of being an SRC rep. I dialed in the familiar number using my backlit phone as illumination. The dial tone buzzed in my ears.

“Hello?” her voice came through on the other end. “Penny.” I breathed, my tongue slurred. “Russell?” she sounded panicky. “Penny. I- I – I messed up again.” I spoke again. I heard her breathing at the other end. “I slept with my best friend’s girlfriend. I don’t even feel bad about it.”

Penny said nothing. “Penny!” I bawled into the phone. “I miss you. Talk to me. Say something please.” Penny’s breath quickened. “Please. I still love you. I need you. My life is empty without you.”

The couple making out in the room said something. I ignored them. “Russell. You can’t keep doing this to yourself.” Penny’s voice cracked. “I know. I’m lucky you picked up. I’m lucky we’re still talking. Please don’t go.” My voice suddenly pitched. I took a swig of the punch. “You had two Russells and you chose the wrong one, Penny. Can’t you see that I love you?”

“I have never had any feelings for you. I’m happy with Russ. I don’t understand why you can’t be happy for me. I just can’t” her voice broke. “Penny was sobbing. “Does it matter? I know he treats you like crap. Sleeping with other girls and other things. You know I’d never do that to you.”

Penny fell silent. “Penny? PENNY!” I screamed. “I gotta go. I’m sorry. I can’t keep talking to you if you’re just going to be like this.” She sounded hushed. “Penny. Please don’t go. I’m sorry. I’m- “the line clicked, and the phone went dead in my sweat slicked hand. I let the receiver go. It clacked to the floor.

I started laughing. It rose in crescendo, a raucous guffaw that unsettled the couple and they finally left the room; raining curses at me.

I laughed harder.


Drake – Marvin’s Room

image courtesy google images

© Sena Frost ‘17


Kelewele By The Ocean & Love Distins

What if we cooked in the kitchen today and I made a mess of the recipe
Or mess up the fufu because I can’t pound for shit
Or palm-nut soup isn’t really your forte because you spent your time roaming the pages of a book
Instead of staying with mom and learning to cook
So we go out instead and buy tubs of ice cream and mountains of candy
Munching on the opposite ends of a chocolate bar
Would be so much fun wouldn’t it

What if we lay on the roof of your house stargazing
Staring at the crescent moon instead
Because city lights drown out the stars
Then you blot out the stars with your silhouette
Because I can hear your heart beating in anticipation
Or maybe it’s mine because I’d roll you over and show you the secrets of the universe patterned in my moonshine eyes
And I’d tell you we are billions of years old because we’re all made of the same stuff as the stars and the earth and the air and that was really where we go back to being when we die
Would be heavenly wouldn’t it

What if we went on a stroll through the market
Jay walking across the street and tasting everything some
Window shopping and laughing at everything and everyone
Annoying the market women mocking the “fools in love” while they prattle the latest gossip
And we wouldn’t care because we won’t buy their stuff anyways
Would be hilarious wouldn’t it

What if we skipped work and lectures and lay in bed all day
Leg over leg
Playing music loudly
Feeling each other with our intimate parts
Grunting and giggling and groping and kissing and pulling and sighing
Ecstasy dancing
In the shadows the curtains cast
Would be wild wouldn’t it

What if we went on a date at night and had kelewele by the ocean
Savouring the spicy tang while the sobolo sweats in the ice bucket
While we listen to the waves crash against the shore
Frothing in harmony with the pale sands
We would tease the water with our feet and listen to our hearts beat cradled at the foot of the coconut palm
As our fingers kiss and lace and the electric warmth caresses our nestled figure
Wild and exotic and full of imagination
Freed of Monday mornings and rush hour
In moments like this
Time stands still
Would be so romantic wouldn’t it

© Sena Frost 2k17

image courtesy Google Images

two thirty four with dumsor and a storm

Vamping. Image courtesy google.com

2.34 AM

Sleep flees from me

A curtain blown away by the wind of change

Lifting the trapdoor

Creaky hinges

So I listen to the scurrying feet of mice

Peer into the inky blackness

Of nothingness

The void

Where everything in plain sight is hidden.



The cloth slips for free

Leaving my naked body to the mosquitos’ choral rage

A biochemical spoor

For emotional binges

Gut wrenching and heart burning and all together not very nice

I fear the plainness

Of the Loch Ness

Monster unsighted and generally avoid

The pain of freedom now forbidden.


2:36 AM

Pain wells up in my chest

A burning fever

An onslaught of hormones

Adrenaline pumping through capillaries

Pupils dilating to refract the tiniest amount of light


ECG at their best again

I peek outside

And the dark skies are laden with torrents of regret

A hailstorm of “I miss you”s

All the while obsessing about the dry earth

Which I stopped watering

And now

He curates in the hope of a cocoa harvest.



I say “It is for the best”

But I doubt the nature of my self-sacrifice like a dulled cleaver

Trying to split meat from bones

Burning through the list of ancillaries

While it roars thunder fright

And strikes lightning nigh,

I wonder why my thoughts cannot abstain

And leave her on the other side

The mirrors of my soul reflect

On the countless “I love you”s

And the inglorious moments of the cold hearth

Where once smiles were simmering


The tears well up in the wake of the tempest



Nothing good comes easy

And yeah

Life sucks

Drawing inspiration from ghosts I have tried to banish

Moved into the storeroom where all broken things go

But here I am

Train wrecked

Standing at the verge

Feeling alone

But then




I am dizzy


Of all that I have lost and the worst of lucks

I cannot vanish

Miraculously the tears do not flow

I grab hold of the pram

Holding my beautiful blue babies of my star trek

Despairs submerge

And Vulcan logic sudden

Becomes lucid with alphanumeric phosphorescence.



Sleep beckons

Deep journeys twenty thousand leagues under the ocean

Steep cliff faces

For the condors and king raptors

Floors of lush grass for the sheep frolicking

Doors opened by hands skeletal

While she closes hers shut

Bile jaundices my eyes

Sterile but not malignant

Alliterating my fluctuations of thought while

Perambulating the far reaches of the universe yet

Bifurcating the black hole of apocalypse

In the hour of poetry

And yet

Here I am

Staring at my phone screen


© Sena Frost 2k16






When We Were Young



Dear brother,

As I write to you,

I am awash with memories,

A timeline of pictures streaming backwards.

This is an effusion of love,

My tale of pride,

Of the life we have shared,


I love you,

Alternate combination of our parent’s DNA,

Alleles and genomes sequenced in a slightly different pattern.

I remember you in my earliest memories.

A young thing,

A new baby,

My own little brother.

No questions,

Just accepting

That what is mine is yours

The first lesson on sharing.

You are my first friend,

My rival,

My team mate,

My vociferous side kick,

My brother,

You are.

In the dawn of our lives,

I watched over you,

Aware that if anything happened to you,

I was going to be beaten badly.

I hated you sometimes,

Oh how you’d frame me

For something you did.

I guess you were painting a picture of forgiveness and resolution.

I remember your tantrums,

Your little face going red as you sulk.

Your preference for coins over paper money because there was simply to much of them for you to lose all at a go.

I remember your love for yellow,

Remaining true to it throughout everything.

I always loved telling you things you didn’t know,

Then you’d put your finger on your chin and look into the sky pensively.

I remember the look of worry etched on your face when I stood on the brink of death.

I remember everything

That these pages couldn’t hold.

I know you play football with your left foot,

Draw your funny versions of my drawings.

They always left me wondering,

If you had applied yourself a little more,

You could have been me.

But then you didn’t

And you have grown

To be your own man.

Driven and focused,

Forever pushing me to better myself,


When we were young,

We were inseparable.

Like fire and smoke,

Milling round our point of combustion,

Our adventures,


Roaming the lengths and breadths of our city.

The labyrinthine depths of our shared mind,

Not two halves of a whole,

But two wholes in our very own dimension,

A wormhole,

Of our fantasies and visions.

We are different

But when you look at our music,

Notes gliding on the scale

We couldn’t be more similar.

When we were young,

We traded blows,

And cried,

And took bullets for each other.

You are,

My best man,

My first friend,

My rival,

My motivator,

You are,

Blood of my blood,

The never ending movie,

The soap opera

That our lives are

Which never stops playing.

Forever stuck in when we were young.

I want you to know that,

I am there for you.

You are my pride,

Because you are you,

And for that,

I am content.

I give you my love,

As your brother.



~for Enyonam

© Sena Frost 2015



“Sena.” I saw the whatsapp message. My heart skipped a beat as I saw the familiar sequence of numbers. Deleted but not forgotten. I shook my head and blinked. I then put the phone away. I swiveled away to look at the laptop screen. The cursor blinked like a metronome at me. It was eerie. Eerie because one of the characters in the screenplay I had just written was loosely based on her. Her being Dziedzorm “Dzidzi” Mensa. She was a ghost. A ghost from a past I made for myself. i turned to look at Louise’s sleeping form. The light from the laptop screen illuminated her soft curves. Her prepubescent breasts heaved rhythmically. I suppressed the urge to just reach out and cup one in my hand. I got up and went to the toilet. Sitting back on the porcelain bowl I looked back into the past.

It had been seven months, two weeks and twenty two hours and forty seven minutes since I last heard from Dzidzi. Yeah I remember stupid stuff like that. Taking note of elapsed time was barely scratching the surface. Dzidzi was a longtime friend you see. About five foot five, caramel skin and those eyes which I call princess Jasmine eyes. My favorite part was her lips. They look like they were sculpted by some ancient Greek sculptor or a Renaissance artist. That was how striking they were. Busty and fiercely intelligent, Dzidzi was a one of a kind love. The kind of love which inflames you and consumes you and you don’t really care what happens next. We met through another longtime friend, Akpene. I have always been a little scared of Dzidzi. She gave me such a dressing down in our first conversation. I was slightly cowed by her. And her run down as given by Akpene was that of a fighter. An amazon.

The next time we spoke was a year after. I was getting over Akpene. It’s not what you think. I wasn’t wooing her. I did like her an awful lot but she didn’t feel the same way. Back to Dzidzi now. We became fast friends. I must admit I rather enjoyed chatting with Dzidzi. She was funny and intensely emotional. Her moods could be frightening but she was very cool. She’s that kind of person who you could just let your hair down around. We flirted sometimes too, just for the fun of it. Touch and go stuff really. I was growing on her. Then like a bolt out of the blue she travelled outside. She’d won a scholarship to go study in Russia. “Damn!” I told myself. At that moment I guess I had caught feelings for her. A couple of months passed. Occasionally she’d hit me up on Facebook. Then three months passed without a word from her.

“Sena.” I received that whatsapp message on a low battery. I was on a class trip then. We spoke till my battery gave out. When I got back we spoke some more. Dzidzi had bloomed even if she was struggling to settle into a new country. We were limited by her hostel wifi. It went off at eleven pm her time. A nuisance then. There was a lot to catch up on. There were a few weeks of silence. When I next heard from Dzidzi she had a boyfriend. I was elated. Happy for her even.

I’m talking too much about Dzidzi I know. But I warned you before. I like remembering silly stuff like that which wasn’t good for me. I moved over to the bed after washing my hands. I snuggled beside Lu-Lu on the narrow pallet and cuddled her close. She mumbled and backed into me. I could feel my manhood curling round her bottom. We lay there in a fetal position. That’s how we usually sleep. Louise. I prefer calling her “Lu-Lu”. Don’t ask why. What Lu-Lu and I have is complex in its simplicity. We have an open relationship. We are both free to do what we like and be with other people but I guess we enjoyed the security the other offers. There were no awkward questions or irrelevant fights and moral judgment. What there was, was a lot of lovemaking. Her cramped cubicle bore signs of it. Making art. Sweaty handprints long since converted into painted equivalents studded the walls. I love Lu-Lu in a different way. It’s one of those “we’ll know when we get there” kind of love. We are. If we had babies no p, but there was no talk of formal commitment. Louise just works for me. I guess I can go back to Dzidzi at this point.

“Sena.” Dzidzi whatsapped me. She added a teary faced image to it. Disaster had struck. Earlier on she had touched down, visiting for the summer holidays. We went on a movie date. It was the first time I met her face to face. I had a great time with her. But now trouble. Her boyfriend was being an ass. He had actually gone as far as breaking up with her. In the coming weeks I tried to be her friend. But you know how weird women can get. She went back to him as soon as she touched down.  I was angry but it really wasn’t my place to say. I had issues of my own. I was struggling with a near miss. A love triangle gone wrong. Dzidzi and her boyfriend didn’t last though. They broke up soon after. I think she sort of closed up to everyone after. Sometimes shit happens which changes you markedly. I understood her intimately in a way she probably misunderstood.

Sometime after I had an epiphany. To my horror I discovered I was in love with Dzidzi. She was single then. I tried to woo her despite her reservations. Things got heated and after I asked for her stand she told me someone else had succeeded. I had failed and a carefully structured friendship fell apart. It was all my fault. I had deviated from my own preservation plan. Ironically Dzidzi drew it up for me. Things fell apart

“Sena.” The message was still on my screen, unwavering. The spiral downward was an ugly one. I drifted from woman to woman. I didn’t seek permanence. Just the warmth of a breast and the salty tang of sex. I was a regular with the neighbourhood blue kiosk. If you could down a bottle of bitters faster than I could then you were out of this world. Dzidzi inflamed me. I missed her. I’d see her name everywhere I went. She’d whisper into my ear in the depths of my stupor. I had lost a friend when I tried to make her my woman. I couldn’t take it anymore. I lost my job. Turning up to teach drunk isn’t exactly role model behavior. I cycled round friends’ apartments, perching for a few nights at a time. A few months after the incident I stepped in front of a truck. I wanted to die. “Oh Dzidzi.” I loved her, in a way I barely understood and her absence was torture. There was an almighty crash. I saw red and white and I blacked out. When I came to I was swathed in bandages. I wasn’t dead. Apparently the truck was slowing to a stop when I stepped out in front of it. No bones broken but a lot of bruises. I wept. I stayed in hospital for a while, undergoing psychological rehabilitation.

That’s when I saw Louise. For the first time in a new way. The hospital was close to her work place so she’d pass by to jibe me a little. Louise wasn’t new. She was another longtime friend. One of those free spirits who had gotten a little lost. I helped her find her way and we’ve been friends since. She wasn’t especially beautiful but she had this glow and confidence about her and these wild eyes. She could stir up your thoughts in a moment. Frankly I’d always thought of doing Louise. Having a relationship without boundaries with her. If I was comfortable with Dzidzi I was alive with Lu-Lu. She was normal, with either a wild afro or flyaway perm and the body of a budding teenager. Louise is no angel. She’s had her own escapades, none for the fainthearted. She was a screenwriter who had to claw her way through film school. She’s a survivor.

I moved in with her after I was discharged from the hospital. She had a cramped chamber and hall apartment in town. I loved the intimacy of the place. It was awkward at first. I wasn’t used to seeing a woman undress and dress up every day in front of me. We made out a couple of times, when we came back from town tipsy and giddy. I loved watching her go about her stuff in her apartment. She loved to go nude. I’d watch the teenage body moving up and down, waist beads chinking with every careless movement of her hips. I jumped her in the bathroom and we had sex for the first time. It stayed that way. We’d do it when we woke up, in the shower right before work, when she got back. We tried a couple of things. I started moonlighting as her for her screenplays when she was caught up between work and school. I loved it. I was a writer; poetry and prose were my forte but dipping my hand in screenwriting was a new haven.  It was new to me but I learned fast. Lu-Lu knew about the whole incident. She wasn’t happy with how everything went down. She wasn’t one to talk for long. Not with her mouth anyway. To be honest a little bit of me was relieved the Dzidzi drama ended. I loved her, and I wasn’t having second thoughts. However I felt it was dragging on too long and I was beginning to wonder if there was ever going to be an ‘us’.

Back to Lu-Lu. She’s amazing. She has this raw energy she injects into everything she does. She’s one of those emotional people who are curiously deadpan about other people. Her passion for sex was only bettered by her passion for writing. She would be on her laptop typing away when I wasn’t thrusting into her. In that darkness she descended and slapped me on the cheek. She’s not so gentle with degenerate people. Perhaps it’s part of her pessimistic nature. We sort of walked into a relationship without a hard decision. I’ve been with other girls and she’s had a couple of other men, but Lu-Lu is “home” to Sena and vice versa. Lu-Lu woke up and walked to the bathroom to pee. There was an erotic pleasure about watching her pee. The nonchalant way she perched on the bowl half squatting and with a hand in her disheveled hair.

“Lu-Lu.” I called out to her. “What?” She groaned. ‘Guess who just texted me.” I babbled. “I dunno, the pope?” she replied. “No dummy. Guess again.” My voice had risen an octave higher. She turned to look at me. “That annoying tone you just took. Wait lemme think straight.” She frowned. “Right, it must be Russia.” “I know right?” I replied. Lu-Lu grimaced. “What are you gonna do about it?” I shrugged. “I dunno.” “See how excited you are. Look the fact that she’s texted you after all this while doesn’t mean anything. You are her go-to guy, the one who always has a solution. If you want to go fuck yourself up again be my guest. I told you. There’s a Brazilian waiting next in line.”

I looked at the dimmed screen again. The message was there, unwavering. “Sena”.

© Sena Kodjokuma, 2015

Hate Poem

You grate me,
Chafe my feet,
Stub my toes,
Your words are my ear’s foes,
Because you talk too much.
You freeze me,
With your frigid silence,
And in turn I loathe you,
You petulant sulking spoiled brat.
Its amazing how we put up with each other,
I know,
Its an annoying thing called love.

© Sena Kodjokuma 2015