Certain truths, you hold them against the light, and they change colour. 

— Clifton Gachagua 

And if we are being honest, 

I am tired 

of blaming a pandemic 

for these wings 

that burden my feet with restlessness. 

Maybe I am lost, 

but know enough to tell that a sunken soul, 

pulls everything it touches 

into the darkness. 

I do not know how to be grateful 

for retrospection 

because the memory of us 

is a wormhole. 

Time, like dust & rust, settles 

on door handles & window frames. 

I am curious 

how much of it is enough to pull absolution 

from festering wounds. 

When you lie long enough 

the tongue develops a phobia for the truth. 

every word I bent 

& reshaped 

because I knew its a breaking point 

pulled me farther from you. 

A Golden Shovel for My Alter Ego 

She gathers her chicks into a ball of warmth 

before the long night stretches & 

opines— no one is an island, 

but on sober days 

her mantra is a variant of these words; 

“Friends always failed your father, my dear.” 

The contradiction leaves a taste 

on my tongue when I ruminate, 

wrestling thought until I choose the latter, god 

knows that any word 

said before the but— is bullshit. 

Clicks away from the nestling of mother’s feathers, I make 

like a prodigal in distress, 

choosing flight to 

blink everyone else into a ghostly apparition. 

negotiating necessities of abandonment. 

a certain form of self-care, I convince me 

that my only inheritance is a fleet foot. 

Every lover I have cradled wears on their neck, a 

grudge, in the colour of the skin 

I offered them. 

the chameleon, a spectrum of self-defence 

crawls between a rock at the same moment a bird 

soars in the direction of the wind. 

The Pillars of Composition 

Our eyes closed minds tossed by winds 

spirit us back to Nana tales by the earthen pot 

sitting astride three blackened stones the custodian of crackling 

embers stoked by her crooked hands. 

In our contractile apertures danced the reflection of a spider 

poised to spin the web of a time when tales stood tall as the ones 

who bore them she began each rendition 

with these same words— 

when the rains came we offered a body to it 

when the forest summoned we offered two 

but when the plagues came even our bodies were not enough 

This is the song of how we became.