taking a mat

this I will not excuse as duality.
there aren’t any new words for my colours,
although now that I know of blindness
it is easy for me to disregard certain things
like what is red to you is some vague
memory of a childhood house i might have made up
as an excuse to sound interesting.
two questions are asked:
I chose to not answer the one I hear
and for the other one I blame
everything outside me –
sonar, hollow walls, blackouts, dar mambo mataam
playing off some unseen track.
for everything you do not ask I’m grateful,
the beginnings of this body,
the many zones, this whitewash
thing you’ve learnt to forgive,
this idea that there’s something in
what we think we know,
as I make my way through Nairobi
after months between sickness and apathy, make my way to whatever
ideal of you is now under construction, the ideal and perfect papercut stray.
you do not ask the obvious.
& although certain gestures are questions, I know this:
your breathing at night,
the movements nightmares make to the surface,
what brand of tea you prefer,
and if I make up a story
I’d rather it’s you I lie to.
while it is in the simple act of a nail file
I find your love. there are the long letters
of regret, but we have the lazy mornings,
books unread, all the poets we keep meaning
to invite over, the books we praise from friends,
siblings trying to get off one substance or another,
our own medicine, this slow slow dying
we’ve come to acknowledge
as it’s own answer to zoning,
waking up on some couch, coming to you,
understanding the delicate way you love anything
as long as it does not move or talk or ask for extra
salt in food, or that ice cubes are perfectly square,
loving books we will never read,
having all our friends now turned to psychoanalysts.
now that i think about it,
there was a childhood home;
no way cobwebs are red though, i feel.


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