Published January 1, 2022
by Rachel Chitofu
(Chitungwiza, Harare Province, Zimbabwe)
It starts with a poem:
a dream to be big
A kiss in the wind
To resurrect a past you've only half-woken
Or caught by the feet
And she leaves like a ghost
Their singing water photos again
Parading weddings that'll never last
It starts with a poem, a pressing to keep holding
To take by the hair and think you belong to me
A memory wishing
to keep quiet
A headstone firming to keep you from tumbling
A sincere promise of breaking fathers
It starts with a poem of adding fingers from fading
lobes of the tongue,
A pilgrimage song, a prayer to the south.
It starts with a poem but it takes remembering
of a heart leaking cold dust
The colosseum of pain: trying and failing
Holding life without brakes or lungs.
language of coastal conversation, the journey of shells
making love to an ocean
giving up your mother's ashes for their seed
I confess. I stole a city from a dream built in with lights
and lovers I sawed off lips
I threw a promise
You burnt a whole village
Rachel Chitofu writes in Harare, Zimbabwe. Some of her work can be found at allpoetry.com.
This poem is included in Poetry World #2, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.
Previously published in Africa Poetry Magazine:
by Chigozirim Miracle Nwaosu
Africa Poetry Magazine is part of the Wax Poetry and Art Network.
- Visit the main Wax Poetry and Art Submissions Page to see all opportunities.
- Visit the Wax Poetry and Art Library.
- This website and all contents ©Kirk Ramdath and specified artists.