Sthandwa sami

By Yrsa Daley-Ward

In the early hours of this morning it was far too hot for anyone to sleep.
You told me I was strange and kissed me
sunk your teeth into my soft bottom lip
twice. So hard I thought you drew blood.

I keep getting the scary feeling that if you look at me for long enough you may see that I have a thousand fears

just like your mother who never really wanted you to leave
meanwhile mina I am catching up on the sleep that we missed
and waiting patiently to feel normal again
my thoughts about you are frightening but precise
I can see the house on the hill where we make our own vegetables out back
and drink warm wine out of jam jars
and sing songs in the kitchen until the sun comes up
wena you make me feel like myself
again. Myself before I knew any solid reasons to be afraid
Last night you give me the space to dream bigger than the single bed
and brighter than the morning
you laughed in your sleep and I cried in mine
and this afternoon we might be tired because the sun is fierce today
and too much happened between midnight and now
But bhabha you are terrifying and brilliant so
I am the kind of woman who is already teaching my body to miss yours
without craving.
I am the type of woman who is teaching my heart to miss yours without failing.
And I am quite sure that you will find this unnecessary
but I am already searching for a place to run to and hide when you say,
“Uthando lwami. I’m ready. Are you?”
You know that I would gladly drive with you to the other side of the world with only the clothes I am wearing
and the loose change  and empty peanut shells in my purse.
kodwa every time you leave the room I worry.
and think that perhaps I have imagined you.
or maybe you have imagined me.

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  • avatar
    keep your youth forever
    19th November 2012 - 9:18 am

    This is absolutely beautiful :’)

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  • avatar
    saMuranda
    19th November 2012 - 9:20 am

    I love this poem especially the imagery ” I can see the house on the hill where we make our own vegetables out back and drink warm wine out of jam jars” *swoon*

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    • avatar
      Africapublic
      27th November 2012 - 3:27 am

      it really is beautiful; i had to post this

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  • avatar
    Lisa Freetobeme Toure
    21st November 2012 - 9:25 pm

    Your words are filled with the visceral expressions of love longed for, by many, by me. Thank you, for not keeping this to yourself.

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  • avatar
    Zamsy
    31st January 2013 - 1:34 am

    wow. truth b told,this is perfectly beautiful.

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