By Sithembiso Mdlalose
The nights for me were never romantic
I wanted to unhook the stars myself and take them down
Langston Hughes was sometimes my companion on some of those nights
together we would sing in falsetto to the moon
about our shared loneliness.
Are we doomed?
with inverted tongue.
She didn’t seem to like to talk back.
my close friend, told me once
that love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does
I wanted him to stop there
so I can attend to the void of the moon
but he continued:
… love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up
I wanted to slap him
singing in falsetto with Langston seemed to make more sense to me.
The stars withdrew
the sunshine cropped up
and struck me with the weight of the gravity of the heavens
I thought I was going mad.
The morning had come
In the waning summer of February
I did not know it yet
A drink wouldn’t hurt,
and months later the pits knew our name.
The morning had come and it brought with it a sonic grammar to my embattled spirit
a field of possible action,
The Mother of Happiness herself, it seems
delivered me out of my instituted numbness
moved me through and connected me to a higher power to understand thy self.
The grotesque melancholy of polyphenols brewed at high temperature
had since been a thing of the past
and oh, what a joyous thing it is to bask in the nightness of romance
time will wait for us, because we are worthy of it.