Memory by Tumello Motabola

Tumello Motabola | Jun 29th, 2020 | poetry | No Comments


The difference between a mountain and a ridge is in the way our bodies can sometimes press at night, the loneliness of the Caprivi
stretched in front of us like a sterile thumb. When we ran out of words,
choosing to communicate with memory, renaming every part of this town.
When we join palms, dance on the geography as two telescopes inspecting the passing land for things buried below. Your face could be a whole language for a tribe forgotten long ago in the binding silence of ascribing memory to new things we can never forget – resurfacing now as a full memory,
a rave of heat, the early Sunday morning miasma –
how we can always tell its Sunday by watching the vista at 9 a.m.
There is something in the light…
I say I only love you to myself now, almost every day.
I am afraid of strangers who come to my door at night only to wipe their feet, only to take my memories. The nights I spent with this false prophet from Suriname, she tells me of the growing olives in her belly,
how she is waiting for the birds to come.
We wait for my own bird too, to translate this new language of the world.
She introduces me to etymology, a study of craving a new religion
of how these people we call “born again” once had to die.

Poet Bio

Tumello Motabola is a 20 year-old poet from Lesotho, a country in the middle of South Africa. He has two siblings both older than him and his parents are teachers. Madman at Kilifi by Clifton Gachagua is one of Tumello’s favourite anthologies. He also draws a lot of inspiration from Czelaw Milosz, Mongane Wally Serote, and in general, poetry that obeys the word beyond meaning, into a feeling. He has not yet published any collected poems but it would sure be wise to follow him anyway! @tumellomotabola on Twitter and tumello_motabola on Instagram.

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