Lit, a recollection (II)

Read the first of this series here.

White lights queued. I made a new friend, and (much to my frustration) I cannot make his face out. I do, however, recall a sense of belonging; a nervous pain and desire that spoke through our eyes. We wanted to escape, to run with the liquor because childhood doesn’t drink. Adults do, and we wasn’t adults.

The baths were clouding. I wasn’t ready to see reality through a broken filter. The water was colder, saltier, and plenty. I wondered if he was going through the same thing, or maybe worse. Like AIDS? The thought was uncomfortable.

Getting dressed was easy, staggering through the hospital wasn’t. I made it, one stiffed leg at a time; I made it to the corridor. White lights queued. It was quiet, free from the clank of test tubes and needles.

Homie had a plastic ball. He had been waiting. We hit it hard and forgot the pills; we hit it hard to forget the misery. Our focus was on ruining something so beautiful,

And undisturbed.

Just like what life had done to us.

I was discharged six weeks later, Homie wasn’t.

Lit, a recollection…

Tyrone Takawira

PART I:

Moments of pain are so intricate with probability. It’s only when you sit in a 4WD hitting sixty — that you begin to connect the dots.

I got soaked in hot water when I was ten. Quite a prolific moment. If I hadn’t slept in my long PJs the night before, I wouldn’t have tripped. I wouldn’t have let go of the heated pot. All I could do was watch the steam rise, and the water fall.

Onto my skin.

It was a hundred degrees of fucked up; kerosene on the Sun shouldn’t burn this slow. I couldn’t see past the light, the vapour of flesh and pain was blinding. Between crying for help and regaining balance, I couldn’t breathe.

Worse, I was lying right in the center; too dismantled to leap for salvation, too hot to stay.

My mind is blank here, how I got up is for Holmes to solve.

I do, however, remember knocking on mother’s door; she didn’t answer. Mother was pressed in sleep, and I, in boiling melanin. All I could do was blow on my skin, and keep moving.

“Keep moving, sonnie. Gets hella hot if you don’t.”

Blowing spurts of air on myself was like running a garden hose from a kitchen sink — in the hopes of putting out 9-11.

My mind draws another blank, next thing I’m seated in dad’s 4WD, hitting sixty on a highway. He asked if I had ‘cooled off’, which was a bad joke. I nodded. What I meant to say was,

“i’m friggin’ drowning,

in ashes,

save me,”

We stepped into Pari Hospital some minutes past eight. It smelled like detergents and government service, with an attitude. Papers got filed. I slept in on a hospital bed; the first time since 98′.

The next morning was a mess. Puss ran from my blisters, and my skin had crept into the bandages. The nurses tossed me into a tub, like a dead somebody. Two locked my legs, one gripped both arms, and the other tore the bandages off. That son offa’ never counted to three.

It was not a poetic scene; the red and black of tissue in dying skin is as fantabulous as it gets; no kitty glitter anywhere. I buried a kick in someone’s neck, all in the name of pain.

I was scrubbed in salt water, which is something of a pinch in the groin, the kind were the pincher doesn’t let go.

I sat on the bed hours later, with a fresh kit of bandages, ready to bat into dreamscapes.

I stretched a smile,

“i’m glad THAT’S over,”

A nurse turned on the lights. He left a glass of water and said I was real brave today.

He also said I best get a good night’s sleep for another bath tomorrow.

I didn’t say a word.

Daughter Of The Soil:

98tolife.wordpress.com

Your mother was an old, vibrant soul.
Naomi Nothando Dube? Wasn’t that her name?
A daughter of the soil,

she birthed you out of auras and Afrika,

beauty and fragility.

Your words recite her truths,

stories of slavery and sub-Saharan romance,

apartheid and rain gods,

Your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me.

Your lips turn into a smile,

You say,

“Mama fed me porridge with one hand,

and wrote feminism in my heart with the other,

she made me carry buckets full of water,

and washed my body with small stones and scripture,”

I smile and whisper,

“Your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me,”

Your eyes run away from mine,

You say,

“Mama beat me with a stick like the other boys,

she made me cook sadza and okra every night,

we all ate in one plate,”

I wipe the tears of your face,

“Still, your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me,”
You say,

“Mama never let me outside,

all the girls got drunk and had fun,

I was as sober as a tea cup,

and dull as the tea bag,”

I laugh and say,

“Very funny, Gugu, but your ebony heritage is still sexy to me,”

You take off your shirt and turn your body from mine,

I see the marks on your back,

the scars under your arms,

You start to cry,

“What’s wrong?”

“Mama was an old vibrant soul,

a daughter of the soil,

but she never warned me of men that could steal my innocence.”

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You can also check out her poems on abuse and sexual violence here and here.