falling through rain

 

 

It feels like falling through rain,
the icy pelts of raindrops thudding against your skin,
your uplifted face welcoming tiny splices of pain,
the water trickling down your sweet onyx face
onto your expanse of dark chocolate neck,
the sweetness of the curve-length
diluted into strands of remorseful hurt,
hurtling further down onto your bronzed shoulders,
your collarbone shrieking in disbelief
at the ice drops nestling hard in its narrow cocoon.
Your chest heaves silently then loudly
thuds through the droplets,
it feels like falling through rain,
your cries swallowed up by the ice-grey precipitation
and your thumping heart pushing against the nestling glacier drops
that press back against it, turning thumps into popsicles of pain,
your arms are noodles, the color of bwe bhulo,
with the strength of a newborn child,
your cries for salvation and deliverance
swallowed whole by the leviathan of love,
the noodle-arms flap in time to the beat of the rain
tap tapping against the expanse of your stygian back.
Once sinewy and strong, your back is now twisted,
pushed further into a soft curve of even softer curves
that splinter with the thumps and tap tapping of
what feels like rain
through which you are falling.
You can’t feel your legs,
the rage of rain wraps itself around the once-golden limbs,
choking the yellowness out of your life,
the raindrops dimming the rainbows from your thighs
right down to your toes,
It feels like falling through rain,
the pain hits each part of you
and as you fall faster and faster through this nameless fissure,
narrow, unforgiving, untelling,
the pain swallows you whole,
burning you up from your toes to your head
and, as you fade into brilliantly white nothingness,
it feels like falling through rain.

   

  I thought I’d have concluded this search— 

this thirst for warmth. where the opening

of arms is an invitation to worship [in] another’s

 

tender body, submerge myself in the haven of chest

& gently unravel the layers of ache nesting

in multiple chambers of my heart. tell me, if I unfurl

 

declarations of glee in every human language,

will what wails in my torso cease? pardon my

unboxing [of emotions]. I don’t know how to write

 

a poem without dissecting this anatomy & heaping

my innards atop a page. when I was younger, words

detested departing my mouth, budged as if dancing

 

on a red carpet. the way I speak now is by holding

water with my tongue. in an alternate dimension,

a boy of my name enjoys the coziness of a lover’s embrace.

 

here, I feature as the guy scurrying, seeking

shelter, while the moonless expanse discharge unceasing drops,

in a motion picture titled: self-portrait as a lonesome bird.

 

sometime, I think wholeness is an illusion, & the desire,

an elaborate seed by the universe, to ensure humankind

is a vessel of longing.

 

Of manyness begging to become less of a vacuum,

like the rain searching for oceans and sparse land to fill.

There comes the rage, occupying your vein and coursing through your body.

Unlike me, you do not know how to write a poem. 

You unbox your emotions by picking a knife 

and bleeding out the pain till you slip into another dimension 

where nothing feels like nothing.

You wait for a lover to make something of you. 

Scream your name, wipe the crimson off the countertop 

as your blue body awakes to the blinding sunlight.

No raindrop thinks it caused the flood. 

No tree thinks it’s the forest. 

You cannot christen your grief so you lose yourself in the clouds, 

fall through the rain and become the ocean.

 

& when the clouds have wrung themselves of you

and the thunder-echoes die out;

when the wind blows red, and the sky shines blue

and all the ground is dry as drought:

 

they will call for you, with tears in their eyes.

they will build altars in your name.

you are no longer vapour: you say, “I

will never rain for you again.”

 

Suddenly you mean something to everyone

And someone

And no one in particular

They will clink their glasses under the dark, stormy clouds

Call you names you wish you heard in your alive days

Reminisce about you 

Like the golden boy you were

Laughing 

as if high on nitrous oxide

as you danced on the wedding stage

Your body twisting

And breaking

And wiggling

Like you were the home

For a boneless Jinn

Rising to the occasion

Just in time to make the crowd

Roar with laughter

They will mention the last conversation 

 

Of your coming home

 

And they, 

 

responding with a half-hearted ‘K’,

 

Will weep

 

And curse

 

And wail

 

For the once loved, golden boy.

 

Sometimes, death is a lens for those left behind

but still, there is something in time that blunts

     the edges of a once sharp memory

 

     The gash death leaves on a mother’s belly

 carrying in each spill of crimson wine

     the portrait of a boy, smiling, the birthmark

 

     on his face like a dark moon, will fade

to become a reflection in the water.

     One day, she will drink from a river

 

     & find herself kissing the image

of her son, (the body is seventy percent water,

     when we die, we give it back all)

 

      she will hear his voice, faint like an echo

amidst the rumble of water & her tears

     —tributes to this larger body of water,

 

     will not be an offering to death,

but to the eluding shapes of memory. She will try

    to sculpt his body within her mind,

 

    but his face will come off like a crumb of clay.

She will replay a memory of his laughter

    in her head, but it wouldn’t feel like music

 

    Sometimes, the sharpest pangs of loss

can be measured by the fogginess of memory.

    

 

But oh blessed assurance!

Did we not witness Heaven?

It was our hefty deliverance.

The clouds as a shield from the prayers of the fallen.

The silver and gold marks on your skin

Gifts from the demons you battled

The angels took one look at and let us in

They hovered about like a scent from a candle.

Below the fallen cry out for your blood

Nothing could wake them from their anger

As your tears raged on like a flood 

But no one could ever hold you under!

 

if it was not the rain,

and.  the probabilities.

the lipstick on your teeth,

Gregory Isaac,

Singing Sade?

if it was not the wind,

your stutter,

if it was not my bad cooking? 

finally,

you not having an end.

shopping for cigarettes and mangoes,

the curve of you collarbone,

me at Mutua’s calling you in panic,

an hour later,

sounds from Jamaica,

cursing at everything, from orange peels,

the burgundy of your shirt, luna moths:

what are the naturally occuring colours in nature?

i’ll never know, being blind,

and preferring the eel to the butterfly fish,

the coldness of your hands,

and your strange understanding of Kenyan criminal law:

knowing some day I’ll need it.  

 

Ribbons of ice marked our ending,

laid bare on velvet cheeks,

held up by the hopelessness that

the day I will need all you, all of it,

will shrivel and never come.

if it was not the rain,

and.  the probabilities.

the lipstick on your teeth,

gregory Isaac,

Singing Sade?

if it was not the wind,

you stutter, the marina

if it was not my bad cooking? 

finally,

you not having an end.

 

You’re fine, go home the doctor says but you know 

what walks through your body has teeth.

 

Everyday these little knives plunge deeper 

in search of liquid.

 

Impaling you, reincarnate of Osun, body of water

at war with yourself. 

 

You turn to God the way the ocean turns over

a ship  – initiating drowning.

 

Your voice at the crack of dawn,

pinpricks in his ears,

 

Punishing him for wringing the last drop

of blood from your petite body. 

 

At night, you find yourself in the place where

hell seeks communion with desire. 

 

The complete undoing of your body/ the caramel

taste of woe.

 

So you self medicate, the pills going down

your throat, glow lamps in a tunnel,

 

Lighting up your nerves and neurons,

making you watch:

 

  1. You holding onto life by a string 

 of nauseadizzinessvertigo

 

  1. The estrogen burning a hole in your heart, 

turning your clots to stone. 

 

in an alternate world

you text the girl you love:

 

         your body is 70% water

             & I’m a leaking boat

             Slowly drowning into you.

 

a quote you stole from tumblr

& she finally texts you back.

 

A knotted string of texts later

& you are on your first date

 

Chipo standi at the Odeon stage

Before you head out for the action.

 

On a whats app status the morning after

She MCM captions a picture of you; Babake

 

Last night she called me dzaddy

You boast to your friends

 

As you retell tales from the night before

When bodies twisted and turned

Twisted and turned

 

In an alternate world

It all seemed like eternal sweetness.

 

But in a dis ya world

You have Eric Wainaina’s Mariana on repeat

 

Loneliness has turned you into a poet

Writing love letters to no recipient

 

Powerless like the god of sun

On a rainy night

 

For the girl you love loves another

Who will probably never be you. 

 

Oh! the selfishness of the human condition

We grade our longing by our measure 

& we ace, 

Then we blame another 

When feelings fall like a pack of cards 

 

Even the moon knows it has no beef 

With the thick of the night 

A woman is not nursery for wounded              love

A man is no sanctuary for prayed up desires 

 

The feeling of self is not relative 

& drowning is melancholy –

When we lose ourselves 

It means recovery is the only gospel 

 

Heartbreak is a figure of speech,

What is capable of leaving your powerhouse broken? 

Grief is colourful – 

The redness of your anger. The blue of the vacuum. The gold of your disbelief. The brownness of the earth that devoured. 

 

Raindrops are strips 

Of heavenly dissent &

The sun – a way we smile 

With fire brewing on our teeth

 

Love breaks momentum / there is nothing literary about a feeling that turns you into a metaphor for longing 

Run – lest you fall in love with lightening

 

It is suicidal to cling unto something

That can set your soul ablaze 

Mercy, Praise, Semilore , Alvin, Lubnah, Sanni, Anointing, Felix, Roseline, Adela, Clif (the NF2W9 collective)

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