I wake up to the remnants of semen smell gone stale &
aggressive hearts threatening to vomit into tissues left days ago
by lovers we never had.
(I go back to Innercore. It is a single word)
My aunt battles metastatic cancer in the silence between words;
I cannot speak of my war with death: “yako ni yakujiletea”
so tonight we open the archival record to scrutiny:
the judge asks me to defend myself. (No lawyer will take up my case). I must have been twenty when I first killed a man. The day I killed my father was exactly like this: grey and —like Tuesday—with no character.
I have become a repeat offender.
I start laughing immediately the judge says that. Repeat offender. I remember an old friend telling me about anal sex with his girlfriend. I laugh again. They did it several times in a single night somewhere in Eastlands.
“Get onto your knees”.
He holding her waistline and she a contortionist.
Several fucking times.
He comes back to my mind as a collective noun describing the nothingnesses of life.
My tail has grown longer in the last eight hours and hanging onto swaying branches no longer hurts. So I hop across eucalyptus trees hoping it won’t rain on the day my mother clears my flat.
I hear my mother screaming at him for claiming the jacket that scratched my nose with uneven nails is his. My toes start to curl in the stillness of what my body won’t forget.
“My sister told me that our bodies register memory and pain”, a friend whispers to the guy from Forensics. I am reminded of my sister’s friend crying in the coffin the day they buried him.
(Nothing is a sacred secret here — your lover’s heart no longer hurts from loveless sex and groins that hate mouths ).
I refuse to look at the judge’s eyes; her eyelashes remind me of a dead camel from my childhood. I can no longer laugh.
(who told you that I almost fucked that cab driver for looking Borana?
I thought I would tell a Kikuyu from Nakuru. Shit!)
I return to a different set of bewildered Kikuyu eyes staring at me with regret.
(How would I know how to calibrate ethnic visual acuity?)
“I am sorry”. My tongue has learnt to coil itself around verbs.
“I am sorry Your Honour”.
A single Zilizopendwa album plays for the entire distance between us:
“si kitu mimi ni mpita njia, nitakwenda utabaki na wako mliyezoeana”.
(But Giovanni knows about Hella and this will take us two hours and a minute).
Get me out of here.