This is how I choose to remember you:

A soft summer whisper
tall, beautiful
the virginal boy.
Supple body rough with working class maps
but your world was your own
and you wanted me there with you.

You told me once, that you wanted me to stay with you
even though your parents expected you to marry (a woman).
You found me broken and did not have the language to mend me
and my tongue grew heavy with translating.
The home you made of me was too soft a place,
too packed with you to ever fit me in.

Do you remember that hot night in Hangzhou
when I showed you my waist beads and you blinked at me, puzzled?
I wanted to tell you the Ndebele word for healing because
疗愈 (liao yu) could not quite reveal the water in my hands.


Photo by christian buehner on Unsplash