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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.

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Post image:  Ly. H. via Flickr

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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.