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

Nnedi Okorafor, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Wole Talabi, Sibongile Fisher Lead 2018 Nommo Awards Shortlists

sibongile fisher

The 2018 shortlists for the four Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans have just been announced. Among the shortlisted […]

GoFundMe | Please Donate to Help Get Selves Nonfiction Anthology into Print

SELVES gofundme 1

The team behind the remarkable e-anthology, Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction, led by its curator, Basit Jamiu, have […]

New Collection of Plays Shines Light on African Women Playwrights

Contemporary Plays by African Women

There are many literary projects making a difference in the way we read and talk about African literature. One of […]

Chibundu Onuzo is Coming to America! | See All the Dates

chibundu onuzo

US-based fans of Chibundu Onuzo are in luck. Her critically acclaimed second novel Welcome to Lagos will officially be released in […]

“I Pushed His Hand Away…Gently”: Chimamanda Adichie on Being Sexually Harassed at 17

adichie dior 2

At the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality, held 15-17 April, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talked about “a powerful man in the […]

Poet Nacima Qorane Sentenced to Jail in Somaliland for Advocating for a Reunified Somalia

nacima qorane

A court in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland has sentenced poet Nacima Qorane to three years in jail for her […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.