Forlorn Echoes of the City

Hey, yes you?
Do you know these sounds?
That seem like they’re replacing your eyes with the ocean
That when you try to blink, the currents collide
That you cough like a Subaru hosepipe to hide it all in
Confusing the reality of the noise of downtown Nairobi
Luthuli belching tunes of weird music, dust whizzing past your tired nose
And for the umpteenth time, jumpstarting life but
Uhm … when it burns here, my future kids roll in my scrotum
Hiding from my toxic thoughts of unloading self onto wenches
Burying Lolita tales and craving to piss on Vladimir grave
Just so I can admit, I’d never write enough to beat him

But fuck it …
At times, I fear these sounds disintegrate like cotton candy
Giving me rigor mortis when a few minutes or hours or days slip past me
That god I do not notice when I look at her, craving her soft thighs, mimicking her lisp
Tracing the intensity of her womanhood, yelling, “please love me” inside, gorging my sanity
If only I could visit her as a museum and compose a new line each day to what she’s doing to me
I’d love her portrait the way an antique is treasured without understanding its origin
But at the moment, I am taking a Selfie posting on Instagram
Hating on people who caption their pictures with inspirational quotes
While my future wife hasn’t pictured me yet
While the girl I am pursuing hasn’t featured me yet
Get the picture?

Hurtling past Kimathi Street
Mocking routine, dodging matatus
People listening to music everywhere … I hear sounds from within them
Like pounding hearts, wobbly asses, broken dreams, broken heels
Everything becomes slow, I feel alone with people
She’s there, sitting there bored like a simba in an open cage, I step inside
She spots me, suddenly hulking and dwarfing me, “I know I am late” I barely conjure
“Your mama, never told you not to keep a woman waiting”
These are echoes
Thunderstorms, No? She screams in my ear but she’s whispering
But I notice, speakers ramming from all the corners of the restaurant
Suddenly among billions of stars, she’s the only sound I want
Then I hate her.

I feel like poetry, distilled and ignored on street corners
But street vendors say, they sell like hotcake, come early in the morning
I know her from my dream last night, I am early I guess.
“Nice boobs btw” I blurt, brain foggy from all the smoke is my defense
But she smiles
Making me feel her teeth bitin​g my neck
Dropping tiny fireworks on my skin
I miss a heartbeat, could be poison blocking my arteries from fries cooked with transformer oil
Undyingly, my ancestors blush
Then …
Empty samosas, more coffee, why slam poetry should be banned
And the Revolution will be televised, gaddamit! or streamed in HD
I lose the plot and my ancestors promise never to resurrect again
I hesitate; all I hear are my organs churn in a maddening rush
Nairobi, has my heart in its pockets, pieces of my mutilated self
But my future wife, she’s probably thinking about me now
Feeling the echoes of my longing for her, for this girl I don’t know

© Eddy Ongili 2016


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