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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.

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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.

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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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