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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