Poetics

xxxix

you will be in your big bed, the windows open,

not as a provocation but as a way for me

to consider out the big out there or jumping out.

a bible next to you, morning doing its best run,

swifts on your satellite cable. it seems to rain

every day here. a stray

idea of love in a bottle of expired cough syrup – all the

material of hanging on you hoard – and I will read

you the song: you will find me unbearable and insincere.

I wake up to the sound of TV,

naked men in my living room,

my brother giving relationship advice

on the morning drive –

the scale of everything changes like in a map,

one that is outworn and folded,

under towels and t-shirts and dried sperm.

we are not going anywhere, you and I.

time has misplaced us.

eating chicken in Bamburi, not thinking of

the night I almost fell of a floating bar.

instead thinking of deep colours

and straw furniture, dirty hotel

towels and how we spent long nights

in the bohemian homes

of rats and middleclass men

in need of ghostwriters – it was easier for us,

letting go of each other to new friends,

smiling across dinner tables

in our own tired language

and signs.

going back home to watch

each other masturbate,

saluting each other, sailors coming home,

knowing this is what time feels like

when we fit into a scale small enough

for a map a child draws to a home

he will never know.

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