I remember her. Every day, I see her. The soft-spoken beauty who grabbed my hands when other beauties were still waiting for the opportune time. She reached out, in three words, a paper ironed and slipped in a perfumed envelope.
“Anto Iberna. Aduari”
(You’re beautiful to me. I want you)
I read the letter, the meaning too gross for my mind to process, so I studied her handwriting. Lord, it was a result of routine scribbling. It wasn’t calligraphy per se, but it was nothing ordinary.
Every word smiled at me.
Every word seduced me.
I think I saw her writing them with a ruler pressed on a page as a pen left bits of her soul on the page. She was the letter.
It was an art.
What was I to do? What did it mean when a class 6 pupil wrote a class 4 a letter?
“Anto Iberna. Aduari” this had to be a joke, because I knew ‘beautiful’ boys were not skinny and didn’t have big front teeth; they had round heads, and more meat, and were taller, and were fighters. But I was just a skinny boy. I wasn’t ‘ beautiful’. I was different, I was weak, but I could run, so I ran from her. Ran away from her.
She was the letter, remember? I ran away with her in my pocket, and when I couldn’t run anymore, I crushed her in my palms and chewed her. I killed her.
Fast forward, 15 or so years later. Nairobi homes ghosts. She is the most beautiful of them all. I, the murderer sips coffee that her ghost has paid for.
“I love your locs.” They are four words now, she talks more now. Her thighs fill her skirt. She is juicy. She is the words. I chewed them.
I’m here, I’m not.
She was here, She’s gone.
Rocks ground to pebbles,
I counted the spaces they left
Huge, huge, huge, gaps loom
So I spread their absences on the floor of my heart
Now this heart won’t dance right
But still, more gaps loom
Humans are humans
They come in different shades
That which make us animals
The Yin, the Yang
The Push, the Pull
That keep our empires bleeding
In love and in war
Some still fresh, some worn by time
Headstones bearing sorry epitaphs
Of loved ones lost in the earth beneath
‘Lowo rach, lowo kwalo joherewa’
So we light candles, place new wreaths
Bitter-sweet memories we re-live;
A touch of mysticism they plastered on the cheeks of our existence
A generous love they spilt on pages of our destiny
And warmth of bellies on freezing nights.
Memories of breasts we suckled
and Twins we starved—
Still the hand of time swings
Wringing our souls off guilt
for transgressions against our own—
Sins we committed in absentia.
to body parts we kept!
As a poet, your work is to write about love–not to find it.
If you took time to look, you’d see that artists are a very broken lot. We take a lot of shit from people who know nothing about being labelled misfits the minute they realize you’re differently endowed.
It is us (the misfits) they call when they can’t figure their lives out, and we sure know how to help them put their lives back on track.
Shoot! Isn’t there a poem for every problem? Doesn’t a song bandage sores in relationships?
We know how to put everything back on track, but our own lives.
We are safety valves for others. Always preaching optimism, love, and sacrifice, but we hold so much shit within. We hate the person in the mirror. we wrestle daily with our demons. We choke on our inequities everyday, but no! you are strong!
Yeah, you are strong, you will write a poem about it. Darkness is the mother of all creativity. You will overcome as you always do!
I’m learning courage to remind ’em that I am a human being. with broken dreams, failures, a dark past, and a hazy future. I also need help, sometimes just to find a missing pair of socks.
No woman should ever be judged for her sexual indulgences. Sex is freedom, and orgasms cleanse us in a way that only orgasms can.
I would have loved to lie
That I miss your company
But insomnia took your place
and we’re doing just fine.
Worms have invaded my mind
Nothing left between my ears
Just here tryna love this hollow husk
But love is evasive
I’ll try living instead
Mirror Mirror on the wall, what do you know that I don’t
Tell me, is there anything left in this soul
Is there any life left in this body
Is there honour in my ways?
Coz expectations and realities are worlds apart
And I’m kind of held back by fear that won’t depart
Held back by thoughts of a past
Regrets that leave no pass
Guilt that scotch my soul
I am a burnt offering that gods rejected
So vultures hang around
Waiting for the fire to die down
Before they rip my flesh to shreds
You see that is a part of me
A libation to the underworld
A cocktail for fresher’s party
My soul swoons with should haves
And should nots
But here souls like mine that figured life out but never lived dance to snores of death
Wishing, Wishing, wishing and praying to a god we never believed in
Just asking for one chance to live and truly live for 1 minute
But I’m no longer in control
No longer the dominant, entitled human
Emotions swish over logic I am a prisoner of self
Yes, that is a part of me
Tear it down to its roots
The spirit was weak so the body indulged
And then, guilt surmised
Please don’t gobble my eyes, I want to see you destroy this body;
A perfect home I couldn’t live in
Trust me I’ve died many deaths before I died
So don’t try to make it easy
I just want to enjoy the moment of loss
To lose it all isn’t the problem
Whom to lose it for is
To leave this body isn’t the problem
Whom to gift it to is
Insecurities plaguing humanity
My heart doesn’t trust its case
So how can I trust you with my body?
Mirror Mirror on the wall, what you know that I don’t?
Tell me about my nakedness, exhume this body I’ve always buried under the tombstones of my smiles and laughter
Tell me about brokenness dancing to drumbeats of fine-how-do-you-dos
See, broken guitar strings tell tales of sweet melodies before the tragedy
So sing me my melodies mirror.
Tell me about weather beaten paths to dilapidated dreams
Tales of despair evicting hope and destitution settling in
Mirror on the wall,
Is there more to this nakedness than a six-inch penis
On a bushy pubis that hangs, throbs and oscillates freely like a bob on a pendulum
It devours thick chicks
In six-inch Prada heels
I lure with cheap gifts
It is a gift
Ninjas won’t stop asking for my cheat sheet
The truth is, I’m gifted at many things
But I’m perfect at self-destruction
Sorry father, I’m not the perfect son you prayed for
But realize between expectations and realities is a graveyard
So many lives rot within
So many dreams lost unlived
So please, congratulate me for just being alive
I can never apologize for self-destruction
What destroys me thrills me
And my kind of freedom is weird
I indulge my addictions like Hindus do chants
I’m leaning to nail my coffin
Exposing the turmoil within
For the world to see
So mirror Mirror on the wall
Is my wreckage beyond salvage?
The mirror stares in silence
Afraid I’ll break it if it dared tell the truth
That there’s nothing underneath
She’s a girl who’ll be known for her balls
Whoever she encounters she hardens or breaks
She shines with the moon
Arresting the glory of goddesses
My chest heaves at her expectations
Sure, to get laid is a given
But to satisfy a woman is an art
She isn’t your everyday whore
She’s a liberated woman
feigning arrest by hormones
Everything takes shape in her wake
She gobbles my man like a hungry tigress
Yeah she is hungry
She hunts and thrills at her kill
Tonight I’m her prey
She takes her time
A sinister smile spreads on her lips
She rides at top speed then slows down
Then I die
She’s gone like smoke that leaves no trail
Somebody find her
I swear I would trade my mansion in heaven for the thrill of her ride
You are a girl who’ll be remembered for soft things;
And most importantly;
Loving the wrong man right