I noticed you from across the room.
Proud enough to tower over me,
Your hair, an untamed Serengeti nested perfectly above your head.
Your eyes were a window to a conversation I had been dying to have all my life,
They told a story of a great castle that had stood for a time,
Enduring the whispering winds and rattling rains.
Your arms synchronised whenever you spoke, expressing a thought,
It was as if you had lived before, before time.
I noticed how tears formed a meniscus underneath your eye-lids the first time you spoke
How love was not as it had been advertised,
How chauvinism disadvantaged, boys like you, boys like us.
“I have never done this before…”
“It’s okay” I replied, “enchantment in new beginnings”
I noticed the Shona tattoo inside your left palm.
It was on our first date,
You believed to exist you needed the bare minimum.
So you ate that you had laboured for,
You ate greens from the garden,
Fruit; handed to you by trees and from there you were able to cultivate the seeds.
I noticed you from across our bed.
The lights were dim and the shadows grew bold
But, I could see the scars that lay latched on your back.
Your history was that of a boy who had been tortured for love.
You had been whipped for making a choice.
My tracing fingers pulled you from sleep,
“My love”, as you continued with a half-moon smile, “freedom has never been as
– Michael Chiunda