When the doctor's stethoscope
Could not locate any pulse
in my mother's heart that evening,
The joy growing in my aunt's womb
Slips out in reddish liquid
from her vagina. A teenager's
heart is always in search of change:
what happens when change is to occur?
I'm weak from the heart. I stay
beside my mother's new flesh,
When the universe is sealed
in closed eyelids. The world crashes
on my head on 3 occasions.
For 3 days, I save my teeth
from ignominy with tomatoes,
And keep my energy thick
with rotten guava.
Today that hunger awakens
in my stomach, my grandmother speaks
Of the dead; and how corpses lived.
As a teenager, she lived behind
a graveyard - without any cold
kalashnikov metal Pointed
to her head. The dead cloistered
her from death. She saw the nakedness
of ghosts: not once, not twice, but thrice.
So a ghost rose up against her,
Screeching until she effaced, slinking
Through a cassava plantation
That led her to the gate of earth.
She still remembers: the eyeballs
beaming like stars, the tousled hair
and the lip, exactly the colour
of the sky at dawn.
In the quiet cortege of the only page
in which our history is crammed,
Every eye is closed (except mine).
My grandmother's eyes are wide
open; her eyeballs are a pair
of full white bulbs. Is she seeing
her ghostly past? The pastor's prayer
is getting too long - squirming
around our nerves. It is time
for the casket to be lowered
into the chasm, all eyes
are opened - grandma's eyes go off.
I can tell how she feels; she was
wishing the fear of her teenage
years can just rise from the casket
and jump on her. I could tell
how she feels - I feel the same way too.
*Kalashnikov was the Russian, who invented AK-47.
Your hands: elegant flowers,
Lustrous love cards, luscious apples -
You aim for a mortuary
Inside your heart. The tears your thick
eyelash wedges. Your knees stand
before a grave, made with your centre
table - his pictures lay on top - dusts
grow out of his face like pimples.
There on your knees, his name mixes
with saliva and drools from your Mouth.
Why did he stop believing
You were taken out of his ribs,
Since the day he saw your mistake rush
To hug you with a heart of her own
beating like a car's engine?
My dear, if you would hear, love
is a god that picks people
who come into his temple.
Perhaps, it is time you stopped
Squeezing people through the door
of that temple inside your heart.