by Rachel Chitofu

    I’ll still remember the big amber
    traffic light beaming on like
    a wristwatch of worn out gold flickered over a
    brand new forehead—the obsessive religion of a man practiced on his second wife.
    That very day was its own
    early glance,
    the side streets brimming with the diminished
    population of below average living.
    You felt that had
    the weekend been a place you could visit every Autumn
    morning ,arms loaded with seasoned breeze
    But you were never actually woman enough—the outdoors were, in fact, a door
    to a last husband—a blissful grief,
    and carved a trailing scent
    of sorrow where the blue-green rivers had
    meetings with mossy oaks.
    Sun had fled the blunt rocks to suffer
    them a black fate of crescent moons scrubbed by quartz, amongst other rare curses. Mist didn’t care to touch its caves. Shaven bodies lying, glistening as rock should. Fire and water. Did you forget that we’re real?
    At least find comfort in the hole of his home.
    On woken nights the floods threaten the side-roofs
    and drench the next room but the window perseveres in a cloud that never breaks, at least
    not for a while.
    And you’ll forget he can be a father but not a man to you
    or the woman in pink, in bed in her grave
    Under the last painted sermon of magnolias, magnetite teeth clasping the roots with the same rogue
    kind of passion
    your maiden self always expected to find.
    Sweet satisfaction
    in the tears you bring home.
    Years of flight, hugs so tight
    Even your heart’s imagination couldn’t still the wakening night nor beacon nor height nor voice that tells you good night.

    Rachel Chitofu writes in Harare, Zimbabwe. Some of her work has appeared or is yet to appear in Ariel Chart Magazine, Uppagus, Literary Yard and New Contrast.

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