Monday, October 25, 2010



Yesterday I wondered
if it was the taste or smell
or that strange thing in between that betrayed me-

Our reed has drifted too far downriver
I think of how these thoughts
can reach you upriver-
God no longer sits in your corner
and the Devil will not go there

I have only discovered
how much darker my lips have become
how silly I look puffing smoke
how wide my nose gets when I smile
and the taste on my tongue of tobacco,
after mint mouthwash...

I know now that taste on your tongue:
the taste has become you
today I find a recipe for you on a platter
in my head:

1. Put generous portions of mint in the mouth
2. Hold cancer stick with the lips
3. Light up, shut eyes, drag...
4. Serve your presence on a platter
... with a smile to taste

you used to dream
of kings with balloons and candy
you used to dream…
i would laugh

you used to speak
of painless circumcisions
and of doves, white doves-
while we both could see
the dark hollows of mouths
while we could perceive
the odor of charnel houses
and hear the desperate beating of hearts-
you floated on your dream-raft
i laughed!

now i see
you have learnt much:
to tell sincere lies, smiling
to sit in dark rooms
that reek of bullets and ballots…

you have eye bags now-
you no longer sleep
you can now suggest
for plan b
a smart solution
like chaos…

I look
through this olive green translucent pencil
The 0.7mm lead is broken
I feel my dreams, break
under the light pressure of scrutiny
I shake my hand to keep awake-
The broken bits hit against the hollow plastic
reminding of beads on calabash
actuating delirious dancers
with plastic smiles on their sweaty faces,
smiles which end with the dance…

All I have of you is this frail pencil
which once told your tales
I feel your prints as I hold it,
rolling it between forefinger and thumb
hearing the broken lead
actuating the dancers in my heart …

And I write.

I am not sure if I should write this-
the dance has ended
I erase the three words I have written
The eraser is good
It leaves no trace.