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She says men leave stories on her skin
Crooked, fractured, broken stories about how life leaves them empty
And her, full with their scent.
They kiss her tongue blue, burning her mouth with lust
Tasting her silent voice, muting it further.
Between her thighs there lies a home
For men that seek to forget their faces for a while.
And under their bodies, she has learned how to forget her name.
Sometimes, she is multi colored
Blood tinging her skin, bruised, like an old memory
She likes clouds.
How they gather darkly yet produce something as beautiful as rain.
She says some pain gathers itself and makes you survive.
When the weight of unfamiliar bodies press against her body
She looks outside the window
And remembers why clouds gather.

When she gets home, with plastics full of food and clothes
The smiles of her children revive her.
She no longer feels hollow.
She remembers her name, her place
And how her love for her children has no shade of pain.
Their bellies filled, their gleaming eyes
That is her story.
Not the brokenness of men or their scents.
Her body, a double voice,
Lingers between two lives.
But she is never empty like those men.
She knows herself.
Mother.

********************

Post image:  Ly. H. via Flickr

 

About the Author: 

Thato-portraitThato Angela Chuma is a 23 year old Motswana singer-songwriter and writer of poems and stories. Her poems have been in web literary publications such as The Kalahari Review and Saraba Magazine. To her, art is the channel that unravels her essence and through which she builds new worlds.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

6 Responses to ““They Kiss Her Tongue Blue” | Between Lines | by Thato Angela Chuma | A Poem” Subscribe

  1. Ebele 2014/10/13 at 11:47 #

    Wow wow wow. Thoroughly beautiful

  2. Oyin Oludipe 2014/10/14 at 08:18 #

    Warsan Shir-ish… I like

  3. UZO 2014/10/14 at 09:02 #

    BEAUTIFUL

  4. Emmanuel 2014/10/17 at 17:12 #

    This is like a narration or normal story telling arranged in stanzas but lacking the complexity andsophistication inherit in poems and the symbols and images which are parts and parcel of poems are scanty. However Good poem,lovely theme.

  5. mariam sule 2015/02/04 at 06:18 #

    Awww this is beyond lovely.

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  1. Celebrating Ethnic Inspirations with Thato Angela Chuma | Dialects of Thought - 2015/08/26

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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