Malaika Kegode is a writer and performer based in Bristol. She has worked with a number of organisations including Roundhouse, Historic England, and the BBC. In 2020, Malaika’s debut theatre show Outlier – a collaboration with post-rock band Jakabol – was commissioned by Bristol Old Vic. Malaika’s work has been displayed at the Arnolfini. In 2018 she was included in Bristol’s BME Power List. As a workshop facilitator, Malaika has worked with a wide range of communities, helping people to find confidence in telling their own stories. Her two poetry collections Requite (2017) and Thalassic (2020) were published by Burning Eye Books.
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The Best Ones
By Malaika Kegode
The best ones always feel like a secret.
Dipped in warmth, maroon carpets cradling
familiar voices as the clink clink of pint glass
turns our stories into song,
the weight of the day evaporating
in the space between bodies.
Insecurities dissolve as we fall into each other,
screech chairs across floors,
make space on sofas to
stretch our nights, blanket
ourselves with company.
Even in unfamiliar towns
there’s still sweetness in the air,
still open-mouthed laughs over card games,
still sarnies and scotch eggs. A world to welcome us.
I find myself here. Again and again.
Leaning into the place that gifts us peace in public.
Where the love can be a quid on a jukebox,
a well-written quiz, another round before closing.