I love how she holds my hand. Tightening her grasp whenever a strange or peculiar figure wonders past, all figures that hold clean haircuts and ironed trousers are peculiar to her and this made me love her even more.
She holds the same understanding that I have, we are the universe. Everything we wanted and could ever imagine was within our grasp if we just pondered, skipped and speed towards it without hesitation or scepticism. Our dark bodies are not a limitation but a burning unknown that frightened all arenas of the world, even our own kind.
This is why, I fell in love with her and this is why she fell in love with herself. Her becoming self was nothing I could hold and my becoming self was nothing she could comprehend. She liked to remind me of this fact whenever she caught my gaze loitering on her lips. She is as mysterious and illusive as the ocean itself. A destination for adventurous explorers and relaxed souls but the only permanent residents are those born in its depths and the dead that found themselves abandoned there.
She is committed and dedicated to understanding me the same way parents hope to love their children better than they were loved. I was her one family, friend and partner in the world and when we walked down the street she made sure I never skittered in front of any passer- by. We deserved as much space as anyone else and we had to begin with a confident unwavering stride.
You must live in the world you want and not the world they created. ‘They’ being everyone who was afraid of being the ocean. She had a cliché and motto for everything and could turn almost every sad sensation into a poetic wondering. Of course her own pain was exempt, she is a poet stitched into warrior flesh and she belonged to no one and thus she was everything we had.
My mother used to repeat this numerous times, often with a warning and always buried within her webbed tongue. An intertwined sweetness that could weave honey but more often than not, they relayed prophetic judgments that I was too young to understand.
“Be patient. You will need to wait.”
I held onto this truth in the later years of my life but in this waiting room, I was a child. A child too young to speak but young enough to know thousands of words, that amounted to nothing said. The waiting room had plush red velvet seats and warm lighting; the corners of the room were backlit with indefinable paintings that made me feel the last moments of my life.
“Be patient. You will need to wait.”
My exact manner of being was my inability to wait; it would become an imperfection that would make me great. Patience did not need to include waiting but rather it was a by- product- of something else. A convincing lie that I had readily prepared; in order to console my constant movement. I was always prepared. I was always patient, especially in regards to my death.
It was the nicest dinner made for me by someone who did not know me. An esteemed guest I was surrounded and adorned with a table filled with all the finest cheeses and meats. A gumption of heads and fleshes of all the earthly desires and fruits. Covered in delicious gravy and gulped in care, my host had done their research; they had made a feast with devour-ability on their mind.
I politely denied and informed them very meekly that I did not consume flesh and that I had lost my taste for devour-ability long ago. I nibbled and pecked at the juicy side dressings of grapes and the slices of apples carved into ringlets that surrounded the salad. I had never seen such care taken and such master ship displayed.
They kept me there for a while; burdened by my insistence that there is no other way I could be hosted or consoled. They stood up graciously and told me,
“I will remember this for next time.”
They walked me down the long corridor that seemed to curve around my being although my eyes denoted it in a linear precision. They guided me into blue hued room and told me with deftly certainty that I would need to wait until the time was right.
I waited by the adjoining door and sat comfortably crossed legged on the plush seats. The door named ‘LIVING’ was tucked into the right hand corner and was crafted with a dark material that made it look invisible to the eye. It was only after close inspection, that I could see its markings. When I was walking through, I did not catch the same inscription.
I was filled with disgrace; I hurried through. My denial and rudeness to my very hospitable host has left me with no option. I was alone once again. I placed my hand along the curved handle and pressed myself into the ‘LIVING’. Unlike the waiting the room and my host’s table, I am surrounded by food that I could eat but it held nothing in taste and was invisible in texture. The delightful details that made an apple appear like well-sliced pineapple made everything devour able but far from edible. I smiled myself into temporal life. Happy that such pleasant beasts surrounded me but disappointed that I was back on Earth once again.
I was too fast. I could have waited. The waiting room was designed with my comfort in mind. Pleasure still fills my heart when I remember the paintings and the invisible door marked ‘NO’. If I had waited, I would have seen my gracious host enter and tell me that the table was clean and ready with a buffet, sculpted to my desire.
This did not mean that they did not fight. It simply meant that they chose different ways too express it. They were deliberate with every choice of clothing and in every discussion that was held next to soft pillows and heavily starched blankets. Their largest and most memorable protest was their begrudged looks in solemn orgies that represented the empowerment they thought they were getting when they crossed into the homeland of coloniser. Their body was ogled, drooled and barked at with desperate eyes and violent hands. They were meat. They were always porn in the game of unpaid labour and exploitation.
We were always meant to take control. Our body was meant to be hard, big and ready to take power, although historically we were forced to submit with hard-knocked knees.
They looked at me once that night; I stared at them- begging them to leave.
They stayed long enough to hold the taste of the sweat dripping down the room into their opened mouth.
They were a medium sized fish in a small pond. They liked it like that. Here on European soil they could be seen and praised as the diva to watch. They were all diva and no hustler, the years smiling and pleasing had made them hesitant. They had forgotten their voice. They were tired to say the least, they had tried to fight, they had left their home with one mission, become better that what you saw.
Dream in your imagination, believe in yourself but the white streets dirtied their black skin and they began to believe the lie. They believed they were the dirty one. They saw themselves as the blemish and disgrace. An ironic twist on a city built on their forced ancestral labour.
That’s what you call them, where we are from. We heard it all lives, on the streets, in the classroom, in our home. I never liked the word. They spoke it at every turn. I could not see why they gravitated towards uttering this ghastly word. I was witness to every overlooked rabbit hole of childhood cuts and bruises, they masked with a gruesome grin.
They always looked at the first meaning and thus the notion that they were a collection of sticks that created fire and heat did not speak to them but rather haunted the space of their living life. The forgotten secrets of bypassed history.
They tried to take form and they tried to be loved for it. Everyday they looked at themselves and said ‘TODAY WILL BE THE DAY’ and then 24 hours would pass and they would try again. This was the same for every host. Yet I was certain that no one tried with such gumption each time. At award season, they would get most improved and I would get nothing, they never paid me any mind. All I got was a look in the mirror before bedtime and once before leaving the house. They did not know I was there. It was hard to imagine they could be any other way.
They were a God THAT refused to be a man, they never had any role models- so they envisioned themselves as free as Scarlett O’Hara. Running around in the wind, never looking back but always scared to look forward.
The system does that to you, slowing bleeding and calling you every word in the dictionary but your own name.
I tried to warn them but I was too late. They were too far-gone and I was too impatient. They needed to know for themselves and I wanted to find a new reflection, I wanted freedom.
I began painting my nails a different colour to theirs and changing my laces, they were never in view but needed to be tied. Finally I made the biggest jump. I changed my eyes.
I turned them purple, a startling difference to our natural hue of chocolate brown. They paid no mind to me. They did not notice me anymore. I was just another thing to worry about so they forget me. I was like the brown in our eyes, wet, sticky and mouldable. They saw themselves like this, changing with every glance and appreciative stare.
They will love me.
They never did.
They had learnt the bias of new land and thus saw themselves and us as dirty whereas I saw the architecture it could build. I was the colour of mud. I saw strength, I saw its properties not its qualities. I saw our history. Finally I changed my perspective to the colour of the abyss, like the oceans depth and the night sky above. I became infinite in generosity and mysterious unless closely inspected. I would stare at them, daring them to see. The reflection of them was no longer present.
I was proudly everything they had turned their back on.
I was black, the colour of everything.
I was no longer their copy. I was my own. I had taken their thoughts and made a reflection that appeared like freedom but different since it was materialised and tangible. It was no longer a discussion, it was an action, and it was mine. It was not something that could appear on a small silver screen.
They had stopped seeing me. I was there because I needed to be. They did not see me as alive, they did not see themselves. I was witnessing what everyone saw from afar, a person trying to find their way.
I was the reflection that dreamt another dream. They failed to see the change because in their eyes, they still had no name, no place- only disgrace.
BLAME was the only constant they had.
LOVE was inconsistent and irregular. It lived in the faces of t drooling men in long weeds, naked and proud and hunting with desire in their eyes and gluttony and fetishisation on their minds. The summer breeze blew them towards us. I passed into a shadow, a ripple that made no sound.
There was no pity. It was not a shame. Only regret. I could not bring them with me because I could not bring them to themselves, so I packed my bags and caught the first midnight train to Georgia and I never saw them again. They were left without a reflection and I was left without a host.
I found a better life along the hilltops and pleasant sounds of blowing dreams. I had flashes of their life, hit me once every moon cycle and I saw them stare at the empty space I had once filled. They did not notice the difference but I was happy I did.
They left me alone. Not in the worst of senses but in the disastrous way that you can be unseen. It was not purposeful. They had jobs, they had lies, they had lovers. They had secrets, with all of this piled up on their heads it makes sense that they could see me behind the dust and dragons of their wretched soul.
I was often a dramatic child that would run and hide, from no one. I mean, no one is a person that can be everyone if you wait long enough so I would wait. Long enough to get someone unexpectedly and I would say the infamous words of my soul
“ You think you gonna get away.
It’s not going to work
No one can escape, not even if they wanted too and I learnt this young and I learnt this hard. You had to make your own way out and if you wished to escape, you would probably be trapped in something else sooner or later or just right way you started. That is the spiral of my soul. It runs only to find itself back where it started, they made this into a movie with the fantastic Bill Murray but it is not as tiresome as one imagines, it is sort of trick that you must play. There is no right way to be only your way and thus you must ask yourself that tiresome question. “ What is your way?” You stare blank faced at the mirror because you have never been taught or asked that question before. No one ever asked what you wanted, so I will propose it rather differently
“What wouldn’t you do?”
“ What are you afraid of?”
You stare back at me. Bewildered that someone had the nerve to ask you your fear. Someone named no one and this someone always sat reflecting you. Some called it a reflection but you preferred to understand it as a shadow.
What a tiresome way to wake up in the morning and so one morning you decided to never do it again. You put on the cloak, and the helmet to protect you from the infrawaves and sat out on the street corner asking passer-by the question you were too afraid to ask yourself and you hoped that someone would stop and give you an answer. No one ever did. No one just walked by. Wondering why there was a no-body asking stupid questions that no one had the answers too.
Its funny, they are funny. Always perplexed at life so they were always trying to breath it anew. With a new book, with a new feeling or a new idea, always projecting or creating something, a reflection of what they saw but never what they were. Never really being themselves because they thought there was no self, they were a no body. A body projected into being something, when in reality- they were nothing.
I could not understand this.
I had known them, loved them, helped them since they were young; they were always
becoming something new although they stayed the same in a peculiar manner. A
manner that left our relationship estranged but I was longing to be with them,
anxious to meet them, longing to know them. It could be scary to be alone with
them; they always gave you their full attention. Until their mind wondered away
and they would get obsessed with a new feeling, flowing away without a moments
glance. They did not waste their time. It was all they thought they had.
one of the reasons why I loved them, one the reasons that made them special. I
had a sneaking suspicion that they were always special. Special in the kind of
way that gets you sent to a new school. A special our mum’s stubborn manner,
would not bend too, a special that meant they could not be contained or
understood in ways that tradition taught you. A special that mum could not
handle, but loved with the rebellious urgency as if was her own self. She
always called us her triangle. Her support, her life force, her reason for
living and here we were drifting- fading-breaking. All of the warnings that
were given to our young bodies were now forgotten. Memories that felt similar
to heavy rain on broken bark. They were her daughter, although the silence that
existed between them had separated us into islands.
They were omitted, although they were always
We were all her children, a mark similar to
branding. Her triangle. It was all we
heard when we were growing up and they were the last piece. The final line that
made us complete, without them we were bursting connections that went in
whatever direction you were standing.
We needed to protect and guide them but
somehow they ended up with all the bruises, and jagged cuts of life that we all
wielded. They seemed to wear theirs proudly.
“ I know you can speak, SPEAK. If you don’t speak they will send you to a special school. Speak.”
Mum would recite this memory, often, and always with a smile, with a loving pride at the capability of their daughter and her own foresight. That Monday they went to school and spoke to their teachers and fellow classmates, for the first time. With a few words at first and then a whisper and then they grew tired and gained the confidence to say, “You have to listen to me, really well, because I don’t speak so good.” They would say this stuttering and biting their inner mouth; leaning towards the persons ear as if they could reach their mind, the closer they leaned. They soon learnt this was not the case. That people did not listen. Even with words, they could be ignored and left unheard and forgotten. They were 7.
“ I do not like to speak but I am good at it. They made me good at it. They made me learn how to use my voice. They taught me that silence was a privilege that few had.” They said this regretfully; they hated to speak and hated to be seen but they always stood out in the crowd. Their mid length locks covered in brightly coloured beads and shells, their yellow eyeliner radiating against their chocolate brown skin. Their sky blue eyelashes blinking with an undivided attention that kept all eyes moving with them. This is why they often understood all their gifts as a dutiful curse. They were awkward and always lost in their mind, finding new trap doors with every moment. The only constant in their life was their body, their home. Like all homes the labour and pain that it took to make it hospitable was lost on all those who did not live there. The décor was often appreciated but the messy rooms were only for a few to see. Very few people took the time to explore and very few people were willing to pay the entry fee.
It pained them greatly. A clown with a large tent
to fill but no regular circus acts to perform. No guests.
love them, I love them so much, that I can’t be around them all the time.”
For them, this made complete sense; they said this to me just before they left for Israel again. Their blue and pink flowery backpack towering over their head, dwarfing them like the skyscrapers they despised so much. Their new shell would be their only companion for the next four years. They would grow into it. Allowing it to become a living excuse to never look back.
I could never convince them to stay, it was
never a possibility and thus I never tried. It was their ‘condition’. To
express rather than to impress, to be rather than to seem, a ‘ condition’ that
left them isolated from the rest of world. A ‘ condition’ that left them
sitting in the desert for 9 months, a ‘ condition’ that meant they were never
“ I am in love, I am in love, I’m in love.
The wind, the silence, pure silence. Everything moves without a sound, I am the
loudest thing around and thus I make no noise. The wind howls and the stars
shine and the moon, oh my god the moon. When it’s full, everything becomes
light, everything is alight I am alive.”
Their face becomes so animated with joy that
they appear like their younger self, pony tails swinging, braids newly done.
Their smile inching higher and higher into their eyes, until they are squinting.
A bubbling child that always got in trouble for being exactly what they are
They were a beautiful mess,
my beautiful mess, a clown dressed in a rainbow costume. A clown that dressed for no one but themselves.
It took years for me to see the crystalized tears on their face, to see their
“ I miss it, I miss it
They grit their teeth in the way that shows
that they are holding back a mountain of words and a forest of feelings. It
feels unreal to see them like this, to see them here. They are so assessable
but always drifting. When they spoke of the desert, I could see they were still
there. Fading into the sun. They did not come back for me.
They did not miss us. They loved us.
They simply had things to do now. Being here was one of them. They would leave soon and I will be back to reminiscing the existence of my own blood.
are sitting crossed legged on the grass, their back is bent to the arch of the tree;
their arms wrapped awkwardly around the base of trunk. Their face turned up
towards the branches, peering further and further into the depths of their isolation.
We are taking the afternoon to sit in Hampstead Heath, their favourite park in
London, for its vast size and the fact that it was impossible to find anyone
here. We are alone and we will stay like this until sunset. Until the day fades
and I meet my love, and they go somewhere I will not visit.
We sit with all the necessary goodies of a
summer day, crisps, juice, humus and bread. The devils food, “because you can’t
stop eating it. I ate so much of it when I was on the road. Sometimes it was
all I ate, all I could afford and I never grew tired of it, the devil’s food.”
They smile gritting their teeth and shrugging
their shoulders. “ YOLO”
They always said it but never ironically. For
them it was a matter of fact, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. Their recklessness and
inhabitation of this idea scared everyone who loved them. They lived by the
notion that they had their body for a short time, so they felt forced to enjoy
it, the best way they knew how. Recklessly and honestly, they felt obligated to
this simple statement. YOU only lived
once. They did not want shame, they did not want to apologise and they did
not believe in turning back. Their was no back for them, their memories lived
in the future.
“ Go forward, the only way is forward.”
would often point their hands to the sky and run on the spot, as if one jump
forward was flying.
I admired them, I admired how they did
whatever they wanted and could be whomever they wanted no matter the cost, no
matter the price. The price of their silence was too heavy; inherited shame had
broken their legs and created stumps that had healed into moss covered hoofs. They
run wildly through the forest of time gathering new friends and dreams but
never losing sight of home. I could not decide if this was for the best. They
had caused destruction and tore up the ground; revealing the lava beneath our
feet. There was no bridge to cross and no way I could get to them. They somehow
always seemed to find their way onto my island and bring love masqueraded as
They were standing alone. I was their only
lifeline and I was drifting further away.
We were all scared of the fire beneath our feet. I learnt long ago that
they could swim in it; they said they were born in it.
They were alone in it.
“What else am I meant to do, be someone else,
do something else, act like its okay, that it does not matter? They don’t see
me, they don’t see themselves and I have lived too long in a house with no mirrors.
Lesson learnt, lesson learnt!”
They always repeated this with a grave
disposition, elongating the final repetition on their tongue and stretching their
face like elastic to show me how serious they were. Their eyes stern for only
second until they were laughing again, just long enough for me to see, that
they were tired of the joke that was been played.
Everything was a lesson. We were taught to
listen to our elders and they independently learnt that everyone would teach
BUT not everyone listened. All lessons leave a scar and they had too many scars
to count. They swear that their scars were worth it, but they also believed and
paid attention to the gaping wound, that we often ignored.
They ignored responsibilities and all
outcomes that came from their reckless inhibition to claim life by all its
“Do you bo bo- do you!” But doing me was being here. They knew this and they thanked me for it, grateful for me, but glad it was not their place. That their condition kept them on the road, meeting, loving new people whereas mine kept me here, loving our home.
Three months, under the same roof, eating the
same food, watching the same films, all where we grew up. They needed to come
to terms with this space, with their fear and I needed them here, I needed the
support. I wanted the support; I wanted them.
would run away throughout the long summer days. Finding trees to hide under and
books to read. Mum always screaming for them to hurry back and put on shoes, to
eat food and to stay clean but they had all they needed. A book and some shade, with Alice they were
complete. Lost in a land where down was up and up was down, where questions
were scary to those with a crown. Where things disappeared with a smile but
returned to bring destruction to the now. They took Wonderland out from the library every week and they still carry it
with them wherever they go. They never wanted to forget where they had been but
they only wanted to talk about where we were going. How we could heal the past
and create a new future, better than what had occurred and more than what could
“How is your heart? How are you growing, feeling knowing, understanding?” The chorus of their question remained the same but they always had a new verse, a new rhythm to dance too. Dreams, love and light were their favourite themes, an infuriating conversationalist when angry but a flood of relief when overwhelmed or sad. Their hands were clasped in their lap after organising their crystals on their knees, and along their upper thighs, they were smiling at everything that came but saddened by everything that was.
They always had so many questions; and so
little time. They would wreck and destroy and dream up a blueprint with you
only to leave before the construction. They failed to understand how much I
wanted to hear their questions, to share sister time. I wanted to share my life
with them but I always got snippets of care, like everyone else.
They paid close attention to my ‘condition’
and made me laugh at the ridiculousness of my fears. They would always listen.
I knew this but I wanted the security of their presence. I wanted their smile.
“ You are infinity, you are beautiful, you
are my sister and I love you, I will always love you and come and visit me,
come, we will eat ice cream and wonder around. It will be good”
“ Everything is now, be now, be your sound,
be true, I am here for you.”
It was infinity or nothing. On or off, beyond
the reaches of time, there was a space and they willed it alive with every
breath. They willed it with their fullest heart. My sister.
They are smiling at me,
waiting patiently for me to speak. Their face radiating a symphony of colours;
like an alien anticipating abduction. Every feature a different construction of
my own body, different forms but kindred selves. I could see it all in their
new orange- coloured glasses. I could see myself; I could see their brown eyes
staring down at me from the heavens of their self-constructed mind.
They loved me and I loved them. I am still
getting used to all the other additions that I did not know when we growing up,
that our family had no space for, that our family had left them for. Their
queerness, their reckless inhibition, their need to always say what was on
their mind and their rejection of tradition. They had no regrets but their way of
life had caused a lake of fire and they believed that we needed to learn how to
cross it. That there was something better on the other side.
We were blooming in the summer heat,
especially now our roots could nourish each other’s thirst. They
were beautiful and would always be mine but they had given themselves to the
The reality of life was that they were always
going but always here. They were named day for a reason and although it changes
form it never disappears.
My sister, a being born to adhere to the
discipline of never giving into fear, not even to our family name or shame. They were beautiful but they did not play
this earthly game. They were all loyalty but no patience. I loved them.
We gathered our things and said goodbye to the sun, walking into the woods holding each other’s hands but going separate ways. Singing a song of unity.
To feel you, touch me, slowly. I had
imagined your tenderness and dreamt of your desire. You were sweet, compassionately
cultivated in design and texture, a bottomless treasure that I had the
opportunity to explore. It was similar to the dimensionality of your soul.
Curiously scented and darkly lit.
let me in.
moved through embraces, holding each other with a gentle care. I wanted you
erotically but we held each other platonically. You wanted to be touched. I
wanted to be soothed.
comfort of my body eased your formative blues while the pleasure of your heart
next to mine honeyed my loneliness. It
was perfectly synced. I had been anticipating you for a while and I had wanted
you for longer.
wanted you, furiously. Bubbling and churning, I played with the silence that
lived in my head. Your presence did not disturb or disrupt but created
vibrations. I followed them like trails of breadcrumbs. I wanted to chase.
explored the crevices of your words like my own reflection. Succumbing to the gentle
waves of your oblivious nature, with a smile. Your fragrance was rare;
sentimentally creative, it willed me to stay. Your mind was naïve with all the
right curves and honest determination of abstract concepts. I swivelled and danced
along the mischievous lines of your smile, like a hungry fox in city streetlights.
You were like no other. I wanted to blow through you like a savage, it stalked
the back of my mind as swarms of desire swam to the front. I wished to hold the
burden of you like a stick of dynamite. Freeing to explore but deadly to
up no fight; I wanted you to taste me, take me.
wanted the grooves of your body to create pulses of pleasure and I wanted the
figments of your thrashes to play on my mind, on moon-filled nights. I remember
something entirely different now; the soothing nature of your soul and the
binding feeling of safety. My natural inclination to hide lasted as long as you
wished to seek. There was no game, only sincerity. I appreciated this more than I could speak.
wanted you before we met. I was wet.
desired you long before my broken heart had left prolific craters to be filled.
I had remembered your touch as generous and I wanted to move with your nectar
once again. The touch of your desire was used to create a pounding moment of
satisfaction. I reached over, playing with your teeth- desiring your bite. It
was deeper than I anticipated.
could feel your sweat and your incessant grinding. You were delicious; my mind
stayed clear. I wanted to stay and play, to scream and find new ways of
understanding an ancient embrace.
not converge with you, my memory perceptions of previous embraces created a
dangerous tempest. I relished you, with a ravenous hunger that soothed raw
images into condensed visions. I was not afraid. A dangerous desire existed
within me; our union tickled it alive – whispering into your ear, I pleaded for
you to take me. I begged with an authenticity that was surprising. I could have
played with you again, but fear moved along my face and found roots in my eyes.
Could you see it?
were tempting, a rich treat that I was scared to taste further.
body became extra-terrestrial, a strange composition of curves and hips. I
craved you. Yet my body moved into the shadows and my heart was long gone.
We met again, you were familiar.
I had tasted another that night, but I wanted to feel you.
that you allowed, whispered the unspeakable. Stay. It was intimate but
the shallowness of my fear had begun to settle. You swayed deeper and I ran
faster. My mind stretched above, I wanted the distance of pornographic
pleasure. I wanted to be held but your arms whispered words of entwinement. The
intensity of your grip was charming but further stimulation for my long
distance run. My eyes flickered along your face. I wanted to see it all, how
your face configured and found pleasure through the movements of our coupling.
The undeniable curling of your lips and the flickers of your eyes, I sneaked a
peak through the curtains of my unease.
were a sweet remedy.
A genuine soul is the perfect medicine for a broken heart but you were something else entirely. You were tantalising, unlike the others. I desired to know you. Yet I wished to forget the aroma of your skin along with the embellished crater you left on my heart.
wanted to stay but the pitiful nature of my soul slipped into the day. I played
on the goodbye, kissing your joints of motion: your writs, your forehead, your
lips, and your hair. Tenderly soothing myself into the goodbye, I fingered your
soul to chase. No bite.
Smudges of romanticism hewed your face and smell. You were a reassuring truth that I hoped would fade. I wondered who would take your place.