In a city of hills, he puts a kiss on her neck and a flower sprouts:
It is a morning ritual you are accustomed to after night undresses us,
leaving light firm in my arms.
I look at you and understand what Mother meant when she said ‘get a good woman’
The taste of yellowed mangoes, skin of brown cherries & touch: a flicker of music.
April was the meeting month. In the slicing rains, April came with a page of sky, with you written neatly on it,
years ago in that library as I buried head in law texts, I lifted my eyes and glanced at sunshine as it offered it’s silky touch, free.
Our story glows more than memory. I retell it on your skin each time our bodies part the sea, white boats floating away.
Sometimes the black birds of my past come fluttering and they seek to eat you alive and i am scared, I do not know how long you would keep your shield raised,
or if these flower seeds would desiccate, growing sterile as the prayers of a blind beggar in unexpected rain,
for it is only the icing we have split, the rest of the cake lies uneaten and it’s only us i want to eat. It’s only us i want to eat. The fullness & whole of us, the bottom of the earthen pot.
I wake up daily to emptiness. Everything is bare. The sun is bare. The air is bare. It hurts to think of us in past tense. We kissed.We were
I do not know what i am anymore. The mirror calls me forgotten. I ask the butterfly how heartbreak is done, and it replies: at the wings collapse. I reach for my back and realize i am now wingless, weightless, how do you still touch me in the lightest breeze, how do you still roam this room ?
On the shoulder of a thin dark man, the moon mourns white,
at the thoughts of the kiss at Tony’s, the soft touch of bloom, the promises made, the prayers said,
& the amen that never came.
I want to ask you: do you miss me, the rose emojis,
the marigolds, the conversations at Royal hills, the dusks we waited for? but words end in still water.
Each day i slaughter memory and the sea is tired of bones. It’s like this, night is a waste without the one destined to unfold it’s softness, without silk fingers to cup jagged want.
My softness, please come back to our opening, I am certain our bodies will still receive us at the waterside.
If the road does not lead to any morning,
let the night be enough. The half moon, the overreaching darkness, a quiet December and its occupants
house the room that is your eyes and it’s discarded favours, the nape of your neck —marble streets to the temple,
where I proceed to salaam & genuflect for a last evening.
The swallows have long disappeared, the automobiles that disturbed the afternoon’s calm, retired like the soil they lay on.
Air dances over two faces reaching into the sky,
i cup you, my face & feather,
intimate, fiddling with this quiet that forms a resin between us,
every matter transfixed,
just us moving, flying.
You have gone to see the world,
maker of my heart,
and left the boat anchored,
on the moist beach, where I lay squandered,
watching as the ship sails you into a new mouth.
i realise that I am candle in the wind,
& also hurricane eating
on a silver plate of cloud.
i would sum up the mornings
i would wait
and gift the time,
cause’ maybe today,
earth would betray this body
& the sea would kill this boat.
never drowning the clothes,
nor the bye song, only keeping them
in little rooms of water.
i mark an x on my chest
for when you come back,
to find the boat leaking dust,
as relic, as effigy for a body,
that waited on it’s maker,
dead moon after dead moon,
at the sea’s feet
till it perished.
a boy in a framed photograph
poses with an ended song
a boy is a bag of water
a boy yawns into a wound
a boy is scared of light & brown
In the wild something
must bury a boy
either a human voice or birds
& yet not kill him
a boy seals his skin goodbye
like a thin envelope
makes it flammable
at all the parts he was touched
lights a match and breathes
The night is a door
into your body.
A giant toe eases
into a small cave
of rocks & wind.
Who am i
to see the moon,
crescent & half,
hunger for ripening
& do nothing ?
The clouds shudder
& crease in surprise.
It is the heart that multiplies
desire, makes it a double trick that
confounds the head.
The head slips in, bright shiny thing
like a newly minted coin.
your body enters the night
& lights go off.
I come from a
line of warriors,
but all cells clutch shields
at the sight of you.
This black boy
is both egg & stone.
He could look at you
& say nothing
because he never heard his father
call any of his mothers
all the sweet things
that hid in his father’s eyes.
The white light pairs
beaming in your head
holds the stare of a scion
of ships, of conquests,
of burnt thatch roofs
& elephants locked in a jar.
You are a field of figs
dreamed by a black boy,
but he says nothing.