Thursday, May 31, 2018

lie to me

tell me it hurts you the same
tell me that when you try to breathe
you too are left gasping for air
and that you too feel
that there is a hole in the place where your heart used to be
tell me that i will not be
just some passing thought
that you will remember me for a long long time
tell me that you love me
even if it is a lie
for lies are all i have to remember you by

brittle bones

I thought my bones would break
when you were done filling them
with the marrow
of your love
I thought they would
fall down in pieces until there were
no bones left
but how amazing to know that
once I started to think of them as
cages where my
heart was captured
and my feelings trapped
in what I called my love for you
it was easy
to break them
on my own
you see
now I am no more
under your spell

i am woman

I am your mother
and your sister
I am your daughter
and your girlfriend
I am your wife
and the mother of your child
I am the goddess you worship
I am woman
so think of all of them
when you think of
ruining my body

hiding the bruises he gifts me

see the beauty in everything they said
so I did
followed their advice
all these years
see how beautiful
this burn mark on my thigh is
see how beautiful
my black eye is;
they bring out the beauty
of my bruised lips dont they
but if only they showed me how to flaunt this beauty I would be so happy
because it is difficult to always hide them under make up and full sleeves

wandering feet

These feet wandered
all over the earth and
through the wind and
the sea and
the sky
they came to rest
where you were standing.
'Come' you said
and I followed
without a pause
I followed until
you were no more to be seen
and now
they trudge
through the mud and slush and swamp
until they come to rest
where you will be standing.

you are beautiful - in body and mind

when you put on weight
they will say you have got boobs and an ass
when you lose weight
they will say you look like a victoria's secret model
but mostly for them
your breasts are too small
too large
too perky
too droopy
your 24 inch waist is too skinny for them
but if you have a 30 inch waist
it is too flabby for them
your butt is too big
too small
too bony
your thigh gap is frowned upon
as are your thighs when they rub together
you see
your body is a product of all the genes that multiplied before you were born
all the millions and billions and trillions of genes that got together repelled attracted joined pulled apart
to create you
it is a product of your mother's ancestry and your father's ancestry and their mothers' and fathers' before them and theirs' before them
you are you
and there is no one like you
anywhere on earth
celebrate your womanhood
celebrate your body
celebrate you.


You wish there was a way to
be with someone
without getting all these feelings in.
maybe if how the poets put it was indeed true
that the heart is a party pooper because it gets attached
you would rip your heart out and throw it and be with people
so that when they leave you
it wouldn't be a mess
but if you did that you would die because it is all different in the real world you see
you would have to sever the arteries and veins and cut through muscles and have the blood squirt everywhere
but it would still be less painful
than someone leaving you
in the middle of nowhere
standing in a storm of all the love letters you wrote for them
standing in a murky pool of tears overgrown with algae and weeds of despair
standing forlorn and alone wondering
why the fuck
you gave them
all of you, the whole of you
when all they wanted was
parts of you

hiding our love

I wonder if you think of me
when you do all the little things
all the routine things that you do
in the course of a day
like when you are drinking tea
from your old yellow cup
that has a crack at the edge
and how you always run your fingers over the broken line
almost as if willing to
smooth away the ridge
Do you wonder about me
when you caress that broken cup
knowing how I love to look up at your face,
at your laugh lines and crow lines that I so love
while you brush my hair away

but alas,
not all love is out in the open.

what is this love nonsense?

you can move on
you must move on
for what is love
and what is feeling
if you take emotional intimacy out of it?
then it is just what two crickets do with each other
or two cockroaches
or animals
or birds
or bacteria
the process to multiply or breed or propagate your seed
or if you are the little artsy type the process to satiate your primal urges
when you see it like that
it becomes much easier
to move on
you see if you don't,
you are stuck in limbo ad infinitum

the girl who thought she could not be tamed

there was once a girl
who loved life
one day with whiskey on her breath and stars in her hair
she kissed a guy who told her she was wild and he would tame her
tame her he did
so that now when she wants to sing
no sound would come out of her throat
tame her he did
so that now when she talks
she measures her words and tone and sentences
so that when she dances, she does so unseen
tame her he did
so that she no longer remembers
what it is like
to run with the wind in her face
and whiskey on her breath and stars in her hair
there was once a girl who was wild and free
and now she sits in a cage
gasping for air


to know that you can fly must be the most exciting thing in the world
to escape when things became monotonous
like the conversations replayed inside
the same four walls
the monotony of routines
strictly adhered to
mostly to battle against any change or
anything new to disrupt our carefully measured time slots;
periodic timetable for breakfast exercise lovemaking conversing working going out;
sometimes violent splashes of colour
jarr the greys and blacks and whites of our life
in the form of unexpected gestures of love
but soon they are muted and made drab by
force-grinding them against our existence
Sometimes all it takes is for an outsider to step in and point out how we left some Colors somewhere
and now we are hell-bent
on erasing the traces of that too.

defenders of honor

Honor is between a woman's legs they say
as is respect and moral values and culture and modesty
well with all these stuck between our legs
it is no wonder
that we women find it so difficult to walk ahead
And so we stand here in the middle of nowhere,
while these great things dangle from between our legs
the men who walk on the same road of society either carry us over their shoulders
or slay us onto the side of the road
the only ones amongst us who walk free
are the ones that have nothing to do with what
lies between their legs
they are the ones who are free


this weather
and you
it's sunny and bright and blinding
then suddenly
dark and suffocating and humid
clouds rolling marching stomping
bellowing becomes thunder
screeching becomes wind
finally drenching love on parched me
this weather
and you
bringing heartache
and joy
and heartbreak
and hope
this weather
and you


when we first came to this city.
we were high on love.
and drunk on happiness
for hours we sat in the cafes.
watching the people and cars.
without having to worry about whether we had enough vegetables in the fridge.
or whether the curd had set.
we ate where we want and what we wanted.
without worrying about heart attacks and diabetes and bad knees.
now we fear tablets and fear our bodies breaking down.
if there are no fruits to eat, no salads to make we panic.
we exercise and maintain our physiques.
watch our calories, more protein, less carbs.
in the middle of all that.
we lost the time we had on our hands to while away.

comfort is us

yesterday I dreamt that i had died
and i panicked a little
because it would mean
i would not be able to wake next to you
even though we sleep
not always on the same bed
but sometimes in the other room
sometimes in another house
but always with thoughts of you.
how you make that grumpy face when the sunlight streams through the windows
that I refuse to cover with curtains.
for curtains make me uncomfortable
take me back to places I don't want to go
to people I wish i could forget
the touch and smell of.
sometimes you get annoyed before you have even opened your eyes
buy some curtains or take out the old ones from the loft you say
but how do I explain the panic in my chest
at the thought of curtained windows
and curtained doors
so I look away and pretend to be asleep
then you fall asleep when I shade you with my body and I wonder
whether our lovemaking is an excuse for the annoyance we mask inside.
but then I drift off to sleep again and
you turn me over and pull me to you and we go back to the shared comfort of domestic bliss
like travellers who have travelled all over the world and stayed in the best hotels but still
come back to rest on a broken cot in their room
because that is what comfort feels like
like you
like me
like us

the babies that never arrived

How do i use the phrase FML
for writing
about my own child
the uptight mothers ask.
Well when your own body has eaten three of your four babies
it is easy to
I say.
So shut up and be grateful,
you did not have to
see your belly swelling up
and your breasts filling with milk
and then
one day,
wake up to find that,
the babies you wanted
would never arrive.

they tell me to change

they tell me to change.
to become less like me.
and more like them.
i try.
i quieten myself.
stop dancing.
stifle my laughter.
swallow my tears.
numb my pain.
i will be happier.
if I am more like them they say.
if i m more like them
then why am i unhappy?
when i have become.
what the world wants me to become?