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His eyes are see-through.
Through them I see
a yawning empty bread bin
a fridge stands
by its chilling emptiness
a stove, cold,
sits huddled in a corner
finds nothing to warm up
for mice swept the pantry
before seeking refuge
in refuse pits
in the neighbourhood.
Cockroaches left jackets
on hangers of webs
bills are forming
a small mound
on a formica table.

Yet - whenever I ask
How he is doing
he replies:
'Fine. And you?'
I had travelled a
long way
without smelling gunpowder.
You were only a fence
from me, yet far,
for we arrived
when the gate was closed.

No one was going in
no one was coming out.

After a night in the bus
I returned to work
laden with those gifts,
laden with a sore heart.

But I knew
the war closed the gates
but not your heart.
Today I was fortunate
to stumble upon a vendor
sorting out grapes for sale.
He separated
the good from the bad
on a plastic sheet
spread on the pavement.
He gave me the ones
that he thought were foul.

I sorted the grapes
in my mouth.
I spat out
those that were bad
but my tongue
did not find
the grapes all that bad.

It's just that
the broken ones
had less juice
and the over-ripe
had an odour.
when your first birthday passed
without a word
without a symbol
you kept quiet;
and when your second passed
without a present
without a party
you kept quiet.
But when your third birthday passed
you made your own car,
a mud car you drove around,
making your own world,
making your life with care
at the closed gate of privilege.
Loneliness -
is coming to an empty bed
attempting to share it
with thoughts
of who you are
of whom you care for
reminding yourself
of her nightmare screams
the fragility
she composes
when you comfort her.
the night she sparred
in her dreams
sprained her wrist
missed your cheek
to hit the head board.
when you joined her
in a sleep walk
a night walk
to awaken her.
Mireza yerudo
Zvitsui zvemba zvinopwititika chiutsi
Kuchemedzana kwezvana
Pachivanze zvotamba zvazvo
Kudaidzwa nezita
Risiri rababa vako
Pamberi pababa vako
Nhumbi kana nhumbu
Dzibnopiwa muchvimbo
Naizvozvo isu vanodana
Ngatisimudzei iyi mireza narini narini.
Flags of love
Are roofs of houses from where smoke soars
Children crying, playing in the yard,
To be called by a name
Which is not your father's name
In the presence of your father,
Love tokens and pregnancy
Given in good faith:
Therefore, lovers,
Let us lift our flags forever and ever.
You rise before
the sun
to till our field
our baby strapped
on your bent back
breaking only to feed
the child.
Breakfast is cold sadza
left over from the
previous night's meal.
Before sunset
you fetch firewood, fuel
for cooking supper.
You fetch water
for washing utensils,
for cooking, for bathing.
you skip your bath
to spent
to bend before a dish.
To relieve yourself
you bare your buttocks
in the veld
without shame
like an animal.
Dozing with a morsel .
of sadza in the palm.
Talking to our Takudzwa
a toothless baby,
sleeping on a pot-holed floor.
in a pole and dagga
under thatch hut
make a day in your life.

Amai Taku shame
overwhelms me
to realise that
when you drop
to sleep and dream
making love to me.
I stagger to bed
in the arms of a town whore
drunk from clear beer.
We are not parted, Jessica -
Not yet.
I am still hoola-hooping
in your wedding ring.
Tall heels of your sandals
are still stuck
in the gaps of my toes.
Eyes still roam
around your eye-shadows.

I am hanging around
holding on to a swing -
your long dreadlocks.
Masi, Jamu and I
wave our hands to the President.
The windows of his limo
are tinted
and are always closed.
The motorcade travels fast
but Masi and Jamu say
the President waves back.

We wave our hands
every time the motorcade passes
in the hope it will stop
to drop a coin.

But we hear
the chauffeur does not know
the 'Give-way' sign
nor the 'Stop' sign.

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2/23/2021 3:26:03 PM #