By Kathryn Kazibwe, Uganda:
I've always wanted to be a spoken word poet, which is interesting because the last thing God had on his 'to add' list when he made me, was on-stage performance. But I've attended a few recitals here in Kampala and watched so many videos of great international performances that I just cannot hold it back any more. If I cannot perform it, then at least I will try to write it. So I wrote my first poem-like thing this week, and thought to myself, there's no better place to put it than among my sequins and sapphires! So here it is. My maiden forays into poetry (though I didn't write it in a poem-like way).
When It Comes To You
Today when we talked I saw a new twinkle in your eye. It wasn't sharp like the one you get when you're about to crack a really silly joke, and neither was it smug like the one you get whenever I give in to one of your whims. This was a different kind of twinkle. Quick. Bright. sweet. Different. I almost missed it. But you know I never miss anything when it comes to you. Like the time you said you were fine but you weren't, and I wouldn't let you leave without telling me what was wrong. You lashed out, called me a nosy little bitch, and then let me rock you to sleep after you told me how badly you'd messed up. I cried with you that night, with your half-closed eyelids and eyelashes that looked like harp strings. I cried even though I couldn't, even through the veil of forbidden things.
I never miss anything when it comes to you. I wouldn't, even if I was blind, and deaf. If all I had of you was your touch, your presence, I would still know you, all of you. I would still feel your essence, in every kind of way. I would still catch that new, quick, bright, sweet twinkle in your eye, and I would still demand that you tell me everything. I would still sit down with you and listen to you talk about your new love. I would open my eyes, and through yours, see her in light of you. I would see her long flowing hair, and her big innocent eyes. Her clear skin and tiny cute fingers. I would feel you, burn with you like cinders. I'd open my ears, and hear her lovely voice through yours. Hold your hand as she sang you a siren's song, drawing you closer and closer to her shore. Until you are a tiny speck from mine, and the 'you'-shaped spaces between my fingers are empty. You know I would.
So take this. Drift away with this piece of me and lock it somewhere you'll forget about it. Keep it and leave it there; I don't mind. Because even though I look, I can't bear to see. Can't bear to hear and not speak. Can't trust my truth not to leak. Let it find safety away from your ignorant bliss. Allow me this; an eternal dance in the shadows of your meadow, laced with brass grass. Let me call hope my final truth, with which I cast the first stone into bottomless nothingness. Push me into this pit, and let that twinkle be the final thing I see as I fall. Because, and I swear it, I refuse to miss anything when it comes to you, my friend.
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