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Home » Poetry » Issue 2 » These eyes can see what they want to see

These eyes can see what they want to see

Beneath the moonlight, her secret stash
bespangles the rupasa in constellations of twenties and tens
freshly unfurled from reels like cigarette rolls,
some freed from beige G-cup bra probing her throbbing flesh
some from folds of her crimplene doek in paisley print.
Metallic taste of paper clips on my tongue, her percussion
enriched with tunes of our ancestry
my little fingers dancing to the chirping of crickets
as I bask in the warmth of our bond.
The mealies roasting over dying embers scent
the susurring breeze, and I turn them, or they’ll burn.
It’s been a long day in the gandiwa and
        her matronly growls from the mukwakwa tree echo still
        in the drought-stricken bani where we chase after her goats
        and cultivate grains near the churu where our ancestors are buried.
She shoots a blank stare into the universe, as if she is no longer here,
her karmic contracts fulfilled, negotiating dates with Mudzungairi weshambo chena
who will usher her through when the time is ripe.
Riddled with sugar blindness, grandma purrs:
        “Come closer and count my money where I can see you”
        “But you can’t see, mbuya”
        “These eyes can see what they want to see”

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