“Art and Blurred Lines” On the experience of watching an erotic film at the cinema

a poem by Akachi Obijiaku

It was meant to be a group hang – not a visual bang
To the picturehouse opposite, in went my gang
Crusty floors and burnt popcorn made it more exciting
It was meant to be a break from our studies,
but it quickly turned to sexuality studies.

Was it Japanese? Was it Korean? It seemed hybrid
In anticipation and expectation, I fell in love with the lead
An exploration into Asian culture, I exclaimed.
But as my eyes fell on their raw bodies, I withheld.
A quick prayer to God, I mumbled.
Avoiding eye contact with my friends, I crumbled.

In a room full of glares, why did it feel so wrong?
Was this art – tearing the human essence apart?
I chewed louder, I perspired faster
The dim lights weren’t dim enough
I longed to turn off the lights in my own eyes
But the gang would smell my weakness –
call me a child and say I’m too mild.

So I stared on …
… to the raw oriental bodies on screen.
Critically acclaimed I was told,
doing things Hebrews, Romans, Jude, Timothy, Leviticus and all them all boys condemned.
I turn to my friend – blank expression –
Wanting to shake him with my multitude of questions:
What do I do? What does a little girl like me do?

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