27

God’s bastard child and a mother’s after thought.That’s how it begun.

That’s how it usually begins, isn’t it? Then you’re treading ice, sleeping under blankets of Icarus wings. The moon is weeping, the fortune tellers are collecting the tears. They will make their juju orbs, Snow White’s mirror mirror on the wall, crystal balls of the heavens defeat. The future is read through the prism of collected failure. We move ahead like this, by drowning a little so we know which parts of the river will betray us.

It is not so much palm reading any longer but the understanding of scars. Here, here and here. I can see where your pain has collected into pools beneath the broken tapestry of skin patched together. Here: the first time the sky opened and you fell fell fell. Fell for 3 different eternities waiting for the ground, some finality that never came. That is your waiting room wound. Breath held for a terror that should have arrived but didn’t, hasn’t. Hasn’t yet.

Art by Anthonia Nneji

Here is the second one. A yawning gash that pulsates, shimmers, the reincarnated knee that birthed the Kalenjin. You must walk around it like the crater of Longonot right at the possibility of falling: at the edge of almost gone. There are hair strand pulleys all around your arms, your legs, and the minions are pulling, pulling you down into the lostness of a forest shaped like a mouth. This is the wound you skirt, graze, eyes shut. The memory of a future negated.

The last one: a fanstasy of unbecoming. An almost bonfire of things that may have been. Startling brilliance that rises like Frankenstein’s ghost, a distortion of divinity. You must trip over this one. Stumble across it before you know it is there. It is Joseph’s grave well where the purity of colour was thrown. It is where the lepers come looking for the healing of beautiful things. Where Tupac collected a rose determined to exist. This is where art survives, battered out of bones ground down for soup. This is where they hear the far off whine of something that could-be and want to pull it out of you with grappling hooks. As though even art does not die of things-denied in this starkness, this barreness. As though roses were meant to grow in the concrete. This is what they will not see. Each day, a little more sand, the colour fading, the rose will be born a perfection of thorns.

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