Africa Poetry Magazine –

"Holacurtine" by Rachel Chitofu


Title image shows a small, weathered wooden boat, resting on a sandbar in blue ocean water with sunset colours on the horizon.

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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
the sound
of a heart leaking cold dust
The colosseum of pain: trying and failing
Holding life without brakes or lungs.

Or blue
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

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

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