Poetry, Tale Africa

Ode to my one love

By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:

And even though things have changed between us,
The love we once felt doesn’t fade.
That love, that knowledge… that doesn’t go away.
I wish I could un-know every curve of your face
and every word you half speak then change your mind.
It would be easier if it did go away,
if I could hate you.
Maybe if we had fought more,
if there were hateful words you had said that I could recall in perfect clarity —
ugly words that I could throw at my reflection when I stood in front of the mirror.
See, it’s probably my fault you didn’t love me enough.
Whenever I look at my reflection I wonder what was so wrong with me,
that our relationship fell apart.
That doesn’t make it easier to forgive myself.
It might be easier if my heart didn’t skip a beat every time I hear your name.

BUT, how many of us can say we did something screwed up for a love that didn’t work out?
That we uprooted ourselves and turned into someone else.
I jumped and fell freely and ended up at rock bottom.
But I’m digging my way out one sad movie at a time.
Digging while my eyes sting with tears,
as my hands bleed,
as my clothes tear away.
And I’m trying really hard to not be embarrassed about failing.
It doesn’t always work out, I knew that.
That didn’t stop my heart from beating to the thuds of hope.
If only you were the one.
If only I could have been what you wanted and compromised some more.

Each time we break up I want to crawl into bed and never get out.
I analyze each part of me,
wondering what didn’t fit into a part of you, why it couldn’t fit.
I know it couldn’t fit into a part of anyone else.
I think about my life,
berating myself at the bad choices.
I wonder if I was wrong — maybe we weren’t so bad?
Maybe that was as good as it gets?
Maybe I asked for too much?
Maybe I’m too idealistic and too crazy and I need to be more realistic and grab a hold of a man that will do.

But no,
I want a man that wants to make me happy.
A man that knows am everything he needs and isn’t afraid.
I want you to be ready for me.
Don’t run 'cause we always end up right here.
I want you.
Just you.
It’s always only been you.

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