“The maiden’s mail has arrived sweet Hun,
quick! untie my apron!”
The mistress here teaches us not to see
our hanging portraits
with a tilted head.
She is collected now
in her stubbornly stuck napping braids;
the future is often requested there, in the past.
Her hands are like men in foreign mines; a slender fetish
embraced only by those who cannot possess it yet;
coming back to her body not reclaim the platinum dust
seeped under her eyelashes but to applaud the new face she brings home.
New memories. New names.
The Botha-Buthe rank at night is an unending orb of daylight ontogeny evening peddlers flutter against taxi windows like a desperate moth
on the backlight porch of a newly unsettled room.
In the taxi, older women suck on chicken legs
make conversation on life’s simplest things; backache…miscarriage.
They forget that mountains sometimes can grow at night.
She sits by an open window, silent: she doesn’t say anything.
Her eyes, in their course, overlook the wasted moon
in the reflection of balding men selling cheap blades,
and to the mountains rising in the east.
She contributes to the lifeless dialogue
as only blank spaces of letters never received.
Take me to Clifton Gachagua