by Michelle Angwenyi
into the sun
Sometimes from up here we watch desert travellers and stretch their dunes, bleed ourselves into their imagination,
(or when they say it first, not say anything back.)
If there is anything we’ve learnt about pointless journeys, if there is anything
we haven’t learnt yet, they will find out and tell us
if they get there:
Then someone must have looked at the sun as they first thought about how to divide their days.
There was that unreachable god – we had tried to move him, we had – loved in the way that only those who try to approach the unattainable do, in small shifts of themselves, moving somewhere, through deserts –
[until within death, someone sees the sun with their naked eye, and its shapeless timelessness, containing all of time, unending, unstarted. They don’t know whether to be pleased with this, or to succumb to the feeling that comes from having been cheated into the frantic conditional fractionation of anything so unimportant, so amorphous – ]
And then they got here. There they were, pouring out of themselves
liquified, oceanic, at the idea of this concept that we were considered anything
we could be anything
transcript of a dream
movement is not always movement
when fractured familiarity returns us to
the back doors and splintered reality
of second homes.
see how he who broke the light is now
& fragmented images.
he looks from the other side of the mirror
across to the square aspects in which
there is a human who beckons to him
and even as he appears to have left,
the man will move back
cross the boundary
then cross it again
many days at a time until there is nothing but a straight undivided line
from here to there. this time, they see lions in the sands,
feathers he wished upon his shoulders from the bottoms of glassy lakes
caged stories waiting to be told, his passage through the light
suddenly dead again when
a voice like the silent shining sun,
I’m sorry he has to go again.
will he be back soon?
[a dwindling black. his reflection, an illusion, a clash between its own truth, and that of what it wants to convey – ]
hard to say.
when you were named,
the indecision turned into
a perfunctory word.
it turned around and around in
endless circles, and has kept spinning there
until it spun you outside
what they called you.
what they didn’t.
until when light no longer passes, but instead falls like broken
glass through your fingers,
staining everything red,
the light shatters through your life –
and on the eve of your awakening,
it is no longer circling.
time is a consequence of movement, and you
are now eternal. you lie still.
you don’t need to be called anything.
but even then,
if you look upwards, you might see it
as it sees you.
your name. a new one.
not in any voice or language,
or anything but
as rare and potentially useless
as an undescribed, jewelled mollusc
sitting at the bottom of
that’s how it is.
a city awakening underfoot.
About the Poet:
Michelle Angwenyi is a Kenyan writer currently living in Nairobi. She blogs at notjustwiththelions.