Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

8638811128_8eb21448bb_k

Dear Théophile
i imagine your bed
stills smells like burnt sugar
and keen aching
i cannot cross the threshold
that room is steeped in a fever so ravenous
it devours the air

lately,
i’ve been thinking about all the hungers
in men’s chests
because
something about absence and
the heart growing fonder

Dear Théophile,
you and i belong
to the same bruised piece of earth
the rivers
and anthems
and old names
are in you

still i smell
the hot bread
the overripe mangos
the filthy currency

still i feel
the sweltering april sky
the villages aflame
the pot-holes like wounds
in my side

Dear Théophile,
where are you now?
where will this find you?
how do i tell you your hands were scripture
in full bloom
each finger a slender verse
i knew nothing of such kindness
mercy me

though i have not seen them in years
i pray they can still make
okra soup
ginger beer
wenge figurines
a fist
a plea

théophile,
of all the prayers
commit but one to memory:
me before you

théophile,
you bury me

 

 

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

Post image by Monique Prater via Flickr

About the Author:

portrait-lubalaSarah Lubala works as a Development Worker for an Education NGO in Johannesburg. When she’s not at the office, she can be found in gardens, drinking copious amounts of tea and reading Pablo Neruda’s Love Sonnets.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Boy with the Flying Cheekbones | By Sarah Lubala | An African Poem” Subscribe

  1. John 2017/02/02 at 01:28 #

    arrestingly beautiful

  2. Omolara 2017/02/02 at 02:29 #

    Beautiful.

Leave a Reply

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.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Read an Excerpt from Tsitsi Dangarembga’s New Novel, This Mournable Body

this mournable body - tsitsi dangrembga

Earlier this month, we brought news of the publication of This Mournable Body, the final novel in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Tambudzai Trilogy […]

Teju Cole’s Response to His Work Being Loved by Philip Roth and V.S. Naipaul Should Motivate All Writers

teju cole sydney morning herald

Teju Cole is a Great Essayist. We know. The essayist-novelist-photographer-art critic was recently in Lagos, we reported last month, for […]

Ama Ata Aidoo, Haruna Ayesha Attah Among Guests for 2018 Accra International Book Festival

haruna ayesha attah

The 2018 Accra International Book Festival will be held from 6-9 September, to coincide with the International Literacy Day on September 8. The […]

#SSDA2018 | Review of Michael Yee’s God’s Skin | Moso Victor Sematlane

ID - SSDA copy

We announced that we would begin publishing reviews of the top three stories from the Short Story Day Africa Prize. The stories, […]

Ahmed Ismail Yusuf’s Story Collection, The Lion’s Binding Oath, Shows Somalis Living and Loving in a Time of War

AHMED ISMAIL YUSUF - isthmus

Earlier this week, we brought news of Reneilwe Malatji’s short story collection Love Interrupted, published by Catalyst Press. But it […]

Why E.C. Osondu Got an Invitation to Meet V.S. Naipaul but Didn’t

vs naipaul-irish examiner-ec osondu-afridiaspora

Following V.S. Naipaul’s passing, Nigerian writer and Caine Prize 2009 winner E.C. Osondu has paid him tribute on Facebook. Osondu made […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.