Before We Become Strangers


before we become strangers i would like to kiss you
the same way couples do on their wedding day
knowing too well that a home can become haunted
the same way a poor man would make haste
and scramble for the little crumbs the world dumps 
with the same energy that makes him realize he is neither
strong nor full enough to even offer his body the fuel it needs

i am terrified of the little things in life like looking at the mirror and
realizing i am shouting at my reflection
the same way a girl approaches her house only to find
her door broken but nothing stolen
i would like to kiss you like a boy in his adolescence
and fantasize about you knowing too well i will never have you
the same way a soldier kisses his wife goodbye, trying to savour
that one moment while the commander issues orders for boarding
because he has to provide for his family

the same goddamned times a girl in a crowd can hear her heartbeat
and still hold back her tears when she realizes she is alone
the same surprise of spotting a flicker in darkness
i would give all to kiss you like a loner tracing raindrops
On the window of the backseat of a bus
trying to understand how it feels to disappear in your lips
yet be alive enough to see myself die about the grace of your breath

like a sprinter acknowledging a crowd’s electric applause
knowing he cannot win against his competitors
like a poet enduring a workshop to find an opportunity
to read a poem about his love to strangers  

i would like to kiss you before we turn into strangers
before I measure the length of your waist with my hands
before I watch you walk past me with the incompleteness I desire
because I am horrified of becoming a stranger before I struggle with love 
and confess about the silent fireworks I get in my heart because of your lips

those strawberry lips that i can
lick or kiss or bite or just stare as a providence of my heart
you bulge inside my heart like a blossoming flower
making me a gardener who labors without pay

© Eddy Ongili 2015


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