Poetics

xvii

a long experiment.

We have learned, through no faults of those things we cannot name, that poetry can take certain things from here.
You insist on less light in a room where the curtains are heavy and always drawn.

London Grammar.

20s men watch us through the night and make notes.

No fantasy of ours.

You said you only like a lover if he smells like whiskey. A few hours into the night they are bored and exchanging cigarettes and herpes. They burn the ends on your bags, where your shoulder makes a sudden drop. A poster to a festival on the wall – it might have already happened, or not; we don’t remember. There’s a festival right here of wrought iron and bite marks at the place your shoulder makes a sudden drop.

I learn how to love your sick body.

We learn to come to each other pole pole. Your tongue in mine and mine belonging to another.

Outside there’s a sunbird and a swing with no child on it.

Do you remember the nights in Mnarani? The old man who sold animals from the sea?

You talk about the possibility of attending a future festival together. It bothers you so much that there’s no one at the swing. We sleep with the music on repeat. If anyone is watching there’s not much they will miss.

Our bodies, sleeping, seek each other out, reject each other. One body smells of whiskey and the other one of Styrofoam and failure. The failure we share on equal measure. We sleep in your fluids. In a way we sleep in your orgasm. This is a blessing.

Your mother calls and you lie you read the bible every night. Your lips belong to me.

There’s a bus in the morning to South Coast, if you like we can be on it. I still don’t understand why I talk about Watamu. Kilifi. Old Town. Arusha. Dar. All the small towns in between.

Same way another couple will arrive here and imagine there’s life.

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