By Zama Khanyile
I can’t, I sincerely do not believe I can,
Every time I break inside, fold and unfold useless gash deep scaring memories of beautiful times,
I resent these times for I can no longer possess these moments where there was no ‘you’ or ‘me’ but it was “you and me” always used in the same lines close to each other, words like lambs following each other,
We feared no impending doom just so long as it caught up with ‘us’ together, “us”, like the United States, yes it was ‘US’.
I can’t, I sincerely do not do not Believe I can,
I have tried all the remedies that exist, remedies that most definitely do not jeopardize my loyalty to my whistle clean character as a good woman, or maybe I jeopardized it…
I tried writing a beautiful poem,
I tried planting flower’s in the allay,
I tried making a move in the other direction, all to no avail.
I tried to force the memories out, your smile, the way you shrug your shoulders when you laugh, that upside down smile then you move your head left and right while deciding on your answer.
The way you said, ‘you suck’, before kissing me on the lips to reassure me you love me, you made it a term of endearment.
I can still feel your pulse in my hands that fateful morning we held hands each crying a painful weep, we knew we loved and lost, but our wide eyed youth, the fiber of the freedom fighters of 76 that blood still runs blazing hot in our veins, our struggle, our love we have the right to be.
I lied trying to get to you,
Cheated my family, risked breaking it down,
I risked my life, travelled to faraway places with no place to sleep because a fired burned for you inside me and it wouldn’t let me sit still.
I walked lengthy places in tight shoes, leaving early in the morning coming back late in the afternoon, my feet still bare those blisters scars, scars that remained after I had emptied those bunions, scars that serve a constant reminder.
My skin darkened as I walked under the scorching sun,
I hungered in my travel to keep us together, literally I really did.
My knees, how my knees are black, ashy, crisp from the prayers, praying in peoples toilets, crying in peoples toilets,
Praying at night, in the morning, praying, crying, crying, praying, somehow they both seem to become one,
I was not and maintain that I still am not perfect, but I tried damn it!!!
And I am mad as hell buddy, you haven’t been fair to me,
Why don’t you call off your ghost, your memory, just take it with you and stop haunting me.
Boy you stalk me worse than the dead man’s love taunting his widow,
Have you become a low life criminal hiding in the shadows, hiding out in allays,
Hiding in the corner of an old woman’s smile, a smile that has had many years to clear out all sadness and insecurities, a smiles that hold no contempt, and a laugh from deep in the bally, a smile that say’s “I love you, I appreciate your interaction with me, I have a special place in my heart for you, I will not be the same without you for I know no other is like you”?
People I’m screaming, ‘help me.., please some body stop this man!’, but all I see are people smiling back at me, nodding heads, shaking hands,
I am in a dizzy spell, enchanted in a daze,
an electric shock runs through my back and I am pulled into a bitter reality of disappointment, I realize I haven’t moved from the floor, from the pool of tears, rejection and failure, time is faithful to its scorn for it waits for no man, and my mess is stacked in heaps that I refuse to touch, I refuse to clear out, I refuse to heal because I don’t want to forget you.
I take a breath, I exhale,
I look around me, I see buttercups moving to and fro, they are losing the royal yellow, discolored and drying out it is the last day of autumn, winter is here buttercups become brown dust, I try to get out of bed, I’ve shed some of the flesh and when I open the curtains it is summer again and a year has already passed,
I can’t, I sincerely do not believe I can
You have too much freedom in me, if I could just capture your bouncy memory I could chain you down, I would stop you once and for all,
But you are so wicked, your smile would steal the keys from me, mm lo tjha baloi, (the things of warlocks).
Lately I can see you smile, and your lips moving but I can’t hear what you are saying to me,
I am losing you, or maybe time is healing me, I am afraid,
But I should be glad I will not be your slave anymore, I am Happy but afraid, I am lost yet safe in my own home,
I don’t know the direction my life is taking, I don’t know how to read the signs because books and real life have a disconnect, like theory and practical’s only to find that there is reality, I am not sure you follow,
Most things have a beginning and an end, this open messy letter doesn’t,
I can’t, I sincerely do not believe I can
Break free from your spell warlock, because while writing this letter, I forgot to tell me father what time my sister gets off work, it past that time and I just snapped out of it, I am going to get the scolding of my life tomorrow morning.
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