There are only three people to blame for this; God and Wole Soyinka!
His voice always sounded like heavy metal being dragged through hollow concrete, but with a cigarette in his mouth and some drinks in his system it turned into a kind of dragged out and slow cement-mixer alto.
Those are two people!
Mbai corrects him, on his knees bent over feeling on the tarmac with his hands. His was a soft almost pleading baritone that used to caress the skins of unwitting women in his heyday. Everything seems to be leaking out of shape in Mbai’s eyes, the road is deserted, the nearest electric pole is wobbling in and out of sight and the car engine is still drilling indignant coughs into his ear
You and your engineering degree that your parents bought from India! You think you know arithmetically speaking languages? Catholic…god…god is three people! So… Six! People are to blame for this!
Lumumba shouts emphatically, thrusting his bottle into the air and wobbling out of shape like a toddler learning to stand. There is a soft splash of dying liquid hitting the tarmac, the crickets are silenced, the keys to his once yellow now allegedly off-white Peugeot 504 complaining in his hand, hitting his vintage gold watch. There was a time it was mandatory to be Catholic, to show up at the ten o’clock basilica mass and sit near the father of the nation; it was a prerequisite for nationhood, for keeping your government job.
Three gods and Wole Soyinka…makes four.
Mbai laughs, stretching out onto the cold tarmac, feeling it wobble beneath him like a belly dancer’s tummy and deciding that maybe the road would wobble him all the way home
Listen to me…
He clucks his tongue and then takes a deep puff from his cigarette, shaking his head and searching for his friend. A solid silence follows, only pierced by a nightingale whose purpose in Nairobi was to interrupt drunken, drugged grown men talking
I can’t hear you listening baba!
He protests in a mild shriek, turning around in the deserted road where they had stopped, reaching his hand out blindly in the grey darkness. He tries to move his leg but the world is shaking so much he must maintain a legs-apart hands-akimbo pose to survive the vicious wave of shifting plate tectonics
I can’t see you hearing me listening to you!
Mbai complains, reaching for his friend’s leg. With a thud, the two are lying on the tarmac by the side of the car looking up at a cloudy night sky
We would have been happy! If it wasn’t for Wole Soyinka!
Lumumba declares to the trees, tarmac, nightingales, crickets and sky, passing the cigarette to his friend blindly and finally exhaling, their surrounding too dark for them to see the dance the smoke makes thrashing its way out of his stained lips
It was not Wole who ran off with our wallets! It was a clever prostitute with horns for nails and chicken feathers for hair!
Mbai reminds him, reaching for the little red glow and quickly inhaling the cigarette as if it was his first breath
It was Wole! Wole Soyinka and his big mouth! He killed Africa Mbai! He killed Africa!
Forgive brother! You must forgive!
For who? Has he apologized to Senghor, Damas or Cesaire? Has he been robbed by a woman with a full bambata and a thin waist as she struggled to keep so mum about her tigritude that she bleached her pockmarked skin and passed a hot fork through her tightly curled hair so she looked as little as a tiger as she could because the world hates her kind and demands that we hate ourselves? Demands it Mbai!
Lumumba bites onto the small bottle with his teeth and tilts his head up so that the tasteless liquid escapes his tongue and punches its way straight to his throat
Before she stole our wallets and we killed her, we had some good times there
Mbai sighs, puffing his chest out so he can take as much of the cigarette in as he could.
Lumumba had scratched his greying Mandela-cut hair into compromising submission and thrown on his favourite tweed coat with the patches that were genuinely from the times he had threatened his late wife into sewing the coat back together. He jumped into his aged cantankerous but still functional French machine and picked his dear friend Mbai up so they could drink and enjoy real music at a Rumba and Afro-jazz bar. Fatimata was amid the intent fist juddering, side stepping loudly mumbling crowd. Courageous guitar riffs interrupted and joined flamboyant trumpets that paved way for bass solos which drowned persistent percussionists and throaty declarations of problems. Once in a while the crowd chanted a chorus loud enough to win a battle against the music. Lumumba had christened her so because as young as she was she had sang all the words to Sam Mangwana’s Fatimata and stirred her full bottom at them with ease as if it were a mwiko, moving first this way and then that way, preventing imaginary porridge from sticking to the sides of the pot with the purposeful yet poised sway of her hips.
Fatimata lurved this myuzeeek and alweyz thot she had bin bone in the wrong genereshen. Lumumba’s jacket was ‘so kyooooot’ and his hair ‘looked like a house neeggaz’ and Mbai, with his afro and ill-fitting pants looked like an almost senile black dynomaaiiite; which astoundingly wasn’t an alcoholic beverage. Appalled and intrigued, drinks had been poured, songs drunkenly shoved out of reminiscing mouths, dances halved… up until they had to drive up the pavement and run her over to reclaim their wallets.
Lumumba had called on his wife’s undertaker; a friendly young man somehow related to him… a cousin’s husband’s bastard son or something who had befriended him ‘in the hopes of sneaking his way into my will’. The two lay there waiting.
Kowa jumps out of the car towards the two men lying on the ground. He had woken up at hours even the devil’s asshole had never seen to receive a distressing call from Rao; his father and uncle had been in an accident
God would be a necessary remedy for the myasthenia gravis this young woman has suffered… but he doesn’t exist!
Lumumba dryly laughs at the tall shadow that was heading towards him, the light of a thousand white heavens pricking at his squinted eyes.
Wole Soyinka killed him! Wole Soyinka kills everything!
Mbai cries, rolling to his side as Rao rushes to the body lying by the pavement; it seemed his father and his uncle were alive
What did I tell you about buying degrees from universities no one has ever heard of?! It is right there in the bible! ‘Let us make man in our own image and likeness’ so god became man, and man is god! I AM GOD! I created Wole Soyinka, the self-hate, the corruption and poverty… this god I hate so much is never on my side because this god IS me!
This man is definitely dead
Rao sighs, interrupting his father and getting up from his squatting position
Let us pray for her soul then!
Lumumba announces as Kowa rushes to Rao’s side
In the name of Cesaire
God the father
Mbai chimes in, as if to translate Lumumba’s prayer
In the name of Damas
Lumumba continues to make the sign of the cross
God the son
Mbai agrees, like a street preacher’s translator
And the name of Leopold Senghor
God the Holy Spirit
Nos trios peres, nous vous presentons Fatimata qui est mort
Lumumba shouts into the night, Mbai crashing syllables together and hoping they sound French
Sematoublematable rendezvous a Kinshasaaaaaa
Rao tries to hold back a laugh, Kowa getting more distraught
What is so funny? They just killed someone and they are going to jail!
Kowa hisses at his brother
I’m not a lawyer, but I can plea insanity on their behalf
Elle n’a crois pas en négritude mais c’est le faute du diable Soyinka
Tata lo sambo lolo sambo oyeeeeeee tabu ley comment tu t’appele muzinaaaaaaa
Kowa tries to study his brother; Rao had always been so comfortable near death… a bit too comfortable! Here he was standing in a pool of someone’s blood
So you’re not worried that our father is going to jail!
Kowa whispers viciously. Rao hears the accusation before it is even said ‘just as you didn’t worry when our mother killed herself’. He turns to his small brother, a placating smile on his face
I would ask what we’re going to do with a dead body but…
I’m more worried about the fact that they think they killed a woman
Rao sighs reaching for his phone
Kowa is silenced for now, his pregnant lips rid of the accusations he was about ready to make of his brother. He hadn’t noticed that his father and uncle thought they had killed a woman, and he was now forced to stare down at the body and face the absence of life from it. How did Rao do this? How did he stare at the monstrous space left where there had once been laughs and hopes and dreams and intentions yet feel nothing like horror? Did he not fear the indignity of death? The accusatory way the blood of the freshly deceased moved towards them as if to drown them in its silence? He turns to his father and uncle
Elle travaillé a bon plateau
The prayer had turned into a recitation of song lyrics…or what Lumumba thought to be the lyrics anyway. Mbai had found it easier now, knowing he had only one word to contribute to the prayer and throwing it into the prayer with the enthusiasm of a young child who had learnt a new joke.
They are old senile men!
Kowa spits in disgust
Your Face is senile!
Rao wants to spit back, but in stead he smiles and takes in a deep breath, levelling his concentration
Rao says fondly into the phone, Kowa turns to his brother in a panic
Are you calling the police on your own father??!
Kowa demands, Rao shaking his head and continuing with the conversation. He holds out his hand to Kowa, as if to ask him to be calm. How could he be calm? He was standing next to a dead man, his father and uncle were drunk and smoking marijuana and his brother had just called someone with a kind of respect and tenderness one could afford a police about to arrest them!
In the name of Cesaire
Kwa jina la babaaaa
And Leopold Senghor
Na Roho Mtakatifuuuuuuuu
Evidently, Lumumba and Mbai’s prayer was over now. Lumumba had run out of lyrics that described Fatimata and Rao signalled Kowa. Kowa moves closer to his father and sighs
He grunts, the word jutting out of his mouth like an unwanted ball of fire. His body was heavy with the life his own father had taken, he was in a mind to burn the old man himself
Shhhh someone is looking for their father
Mbai whispers loudly to Lumumba
Another of your bastard sons then?
Lumumba giggles. Kowa rolls his eyes at the sound of his father’s throaty chuckle; he loved his father…he wanted to punch him in the throat and tell him to go to a corner and think about what he had done…but he loved his father. A raging tenderness assaults him, piercing through his entire body. Was this not the man who helped him chase down a broiler chicken so he could sit on it and ride it? Had he not held the chicken down as Kowa mounted it ? Held on to his son, running after the crazed chicken as it attempted to flee?
My son, the conqueror of chickens!
His father had proudly said at parties, pointing at the little boy with the widest grin
When we turn it into a national sport, we will already have a champion!
He had declared, and Kowa had found the kind of solid pride he grew his courage from. If this man thought him a national champion of a sport not yet invented, then he was a champion at everything! He sighs and moves to his father and uncle, lays himself on the road as they did and takes in a deep breath.
Rao turns to the trio on the ground, watching Kowa slowly fall asleep beside the two drunks. He wonders what it is like to always be a child, to always have that space where your father’s voice instantly lulls you to sleep, to have that safety. He tries to remember if he had ever been Kowa, if he had ever waited with reddened eyes a rubbery neck and a heavy loose head for their father to come home and sit him on his lap and tell him a story. Had he ever been the one who refused to eat until his father held his own breath? Who could chronicle his childhood except for his father and mother?
But mom is gone
He turns his gaze to the dead body. Who was this man? A thief? A sausage vendor preying on drunken people’s post-dance floor pre-hangover cravings for fat? A plain clothes policeman chasing after a murderous suspect? A preacher selling redemption to unwilling buyers who knew that redemption’s sweetness melted away in less than an hour? A prostitute? Who walked the streets of Nairobi alone at this hour?
The thought brings a smile to his face
Who walks the streets of Nairobi alone at this hour?
The words are soft and warm, but the road is not. Kowa opens his eyes to find his brother smiling at him
You can go home now
Rao offers. After all, it was his duty to spare the flowers for Kowa, to spray the plastic flowers in the fields of his delusions with perfume
Kowa grunts, pulling himself up
No, I… Dad… He needs me
He doesn’t even know you’re here
Rao wants to say, but it was almost four a.m. and he was tired. He had a thousand things he could worry about; Kowa could not be one of them tonight.
Well are we moving along or shall we now get in a circle and sing kumbaya?
Jowi wonders, stepping out of a darkness Kowa had not sensed possible. Rao smiles, watching Kowa’s spine react to Jowi, his chest inflates as if it was a limp piece of flour tossed into hot oil, his body tightens into a neat precision, even his thoughts seem to have gathered.
Jowi watches Rao, imagining the possibility of him seeing himself as he stood there, with the shadows from the blinking tail lights of the car playing adventurous sensuous games with his features. He seemed a delicious religion she could sink her teeth into.
Why else am I here?
She laughs silently at her own thoughts. She might as well admit it, she came because he called…and his charms were an abyss of endless…
Someone’s dying lord Kumbayaaaaa
Mbai shouts out indulgently, Rao turning his smile to Jowi as if to accuse her of having asked for it. She stiffens against his assault, warm, hard, pulsating with a life she would rather die than let him touch. He smiles at this too, it was familiar, it was expected, it was why he called her Jowi in the first place; Raphaela Abuna Olero, he could run his fingers across the warm ridged buffalo skin of her defences. Kowa clears his throat, Rao holds back a chuckle
I didn’t kill him
Kowa says, to her, to the night, to anyone who cared. Jowi turns to the man seated on the floor
So we’re going then?
She asks over the chorus of Kumbaya the other two were churning out from the depths of their throats and in disturbingly obstinate attempts at harmony and spirituality. She wanted to know this story, but Samma and Rao were already shuttling the body into the back of the pickup. In a few hours there will be an inexplicable stain of blood on this road. Nairobians will jump away from it, wonder how it came to be, maybe even throw water at it in attempts to escape the screams it held within it. They will say a drunken man brawled with another and they both wound up in hospital, or maybe there was a shoot out and the police returned fire, or maybe it was pig’s blood put there to frame someone of something; everyone will know what really happened here, they will fight amongst each other for their version’s dominance, and then they will forget.
They forget everything
So who is that?
Kowa asks. Rao fights a smile. What could he possibly say to this, that she was a friend? That was a lie. That she was a work colleague…that was a stretch, the use of the word colleague…and work. That she was someone he knew? What did he know about her? Her name, that she intrigued him, that they shared certain… proclivities?
He states simply. After all that was what she was today and she would never let him live it down. He had wondered if she would come at all, if this was the price to pay for his father, if her particular skill set could be applied here. She had spoken to him as if they were discussing the traffic, as if she had been up at three in the morning waiting for his call. She had sounded alert, awake, unmoved, as if to say ‘So finally you need me. I knew you would’ without saying anything at all. This was her charm, the unspoken words whose sharp edges she dug into the tenders of his flesh. Everything had sharp edges.
Who is she?
Kowa asks again, as if doubting he had said anything at all either times. Was he speaking or was it all in his mind?
A demon in female form, a nightly cherub from Hades, a ghost from centuries so cruel history has wiped them from its annals, Nyabinghi incarnate, the warrior queen of queens; Impundulu, the blood drinking lightning bird of the Zulu. Who is she? Nobody and everything all at once.
Rao says nothing; he jumps into the freshly unravelled grave Samma had chosen,
Did you have graves waiting for the mysteriously dead?
He wonders of Jowi
Do you have a grave for me?
He almost turns to look for her and ask.
They had parked the cars at the business park opposite Makaburini, the place of graves, and hauled the body past the security guard who kindly offered them tea, weaving past scarred angels, cement crucifixes, names and plaques, dried flowers that took the shape of scars on the face of the forgotten, trees that bent to weep their fallen leaves and earth so soft it was impossible to imagine it was not breathing down the pain of their feet against it. Finally they had come to a row of several repurposed graves; this is what Jowi was up to tonight. Samma had picked one; Kowa had tried his best to ignore the pile of naked dead bodies, and even more that of suits, ties and shoes beside them. A man was hunched over one body, pulling the underwear out.
The coffin gasps at the unexpected weight Rao adds onto it, Samma turning to him sharply; he was standing inside a coffin. He smiles apologetically but does not make to step out; he doesn’t know why. Samma turns his gaze to Jowi, who in turn steps towards Rao. Kowa tries not to shiver in horror; his father needed him!
What are you doing?
Jowi asks. Her voice is soft, warm, so solid the words come out like marbles, glistening and colourful.
I don’t know.
He admits with a shrug
I’m guessing this is the part where you hand me the body and I place it in here
He states as if it had not just occurred to him to say so
The underwear snatcher jumps at the body when he hears this. What kind of underwear did Lumumba’s victim have? His inspection of the body bears no fruit. This one was a coward. Shit himself.
He states; there was no underwear to be had for him there.
Next time Dalizu
Jowi promises, the underwear snatcher is already back at the other pile of bodies
I would like to say a few words
Mbai announces. The silent quartet had fixed the body into the casket with another body and shut it. Rao and Samma had grabbed shovels and were reinventing the grave when Mbai had jumped up from the tombstone where he had fallen asleep, and with him Lumumba.
It is not the first time you’ve killed someone…but I sense that la poésie has attacked you, therefore you may speak!
Lumumba declares, whacking his friend in the chest as if to summon the stubborn mule that was the words into movement. Jowi turns to Rao in accusation. I want this story! Her look says, he returns her plea with a smile.
Mbai clears his throat, as if the loud thwack was in fact a carnival trick and not a painful meeting of a palm and a chest
We are immortal
Not as we wish to be
Frozen in a stagnant state
Lost in non-existent time
Imprisoned in one bodily form
We are immortal in that life is circular
And our essence is indestructible
We lay under the grass
Gently transform into trees
To touch everyone we meet
We die and touch everything around us
Indestructible polymorphous immortals
And from the corpses
The underwear snatcher claps his hands together, either for warmth or in appreciation; Samma shifts as if dealing with an emotion of some kind or dodging it, Jowi smiles? Rao isn’t sure, but he feels that she is lighter from the loads she hoarded, Kowa…well; Kowa was still busy trying not to run from everyone, or scream, or shit himself, or faint. He had tightened his buttocks, he was holding on to his underwear.
I too have words !
Lumumba announces, seeing the warm reception his friend’s words had garnered
Who are these people?
Jowi whispers to Rao.
He wants to say back, but thankfully his father jumps in
We bring you this woman and flame
We give you back your black doll Fatimata
May you hear this naked woman, black woman, the solemn contralto voice of which is the spiritual song of the beloved…unless she is talking badly about us, then do not heed her cry. Jealous fate has turned her into ashes to feed the roots of life
Rao tries his best not to chuckle or reach out and pat his father lightly on the shoulder. He seems to be the only one who knows that Lumumba is finished, so he jumps in with a clap, Mbai pats Lumumba on the shoulder as if to say ‘well said’ without relinquishing his title as head poet
Where is the young man with the tea?
Lumumba asks, satiated. Jowi turns to Rao; Now! Her look says, and he would have some tea as well to avoid the conversation. He attempts to dig the spade he was leaning on into the fresh earth, to cover the grave and never speak of this again, but Jowi had asked for something, and when she did, she seldom went unanswered. Samma had grabbed the spade from his hands and before he could complain, Dalizu the underwear snatcher was covering the grave on his behalf.
He turns to her, this short inferno who stood solid and restless in his face; she wasn’t going to ask again, and he could not avoid it with his smiles.
My father and my uncle
He whispers into her lips, placing the words there so only she can eat them, a secret, a worm from mother eagle to baby
She moves closer, as if to search his mouth for more secrets
And the one having a panic attack over there?
He can’t help but smile; he wasn’t the only one who had noticed Kowa’s dilemma
My baby brother
He watches her face lighten. It could have been the way he said baby, softly, as if to pull her to him on winged feet. She smiles, he can’t believe that she is smiling; when she did her face grew innocent and he thought of a little girl without a care in the world, her dimples swords used to slay resistance, her eyes shiny and brilliant, her relentless hope in all humanity enough to make the worst of men put down their grenades.
So this is your way of introducing me to your family
It is a gentle poke, something between them alone, only he can eat the accusation
I was hoping you’d bring a sister or a female cousin and we could make this an ayie
He moves closer, she steps back
Proposing marriage in a cemetery while burying an anonymous person your father and uncle killed; I do like your style Frantz Omar Fanon Rao Ojijo
She teases, and he would wonder where she saw his name, but she was a woman of means and talents. He steps back, away from her, as if to air the words between them so they could rush to whichever ear they felt best suited to; after all, he had just asked her to marry him…indirectly of course, and maybe even subconsciously, and where did one go from there?
She steps closer, this conversation was not finished; her armoury was full of things she wanted to stick into his skin.
So what’s your baby brother’s name?
She asks, and he would have told her to ask Kowa himself, but then the way she threw that word baby back at him, a half cooked mockery spiced with a silent dare and peppered with an even quieter longing…
She prods, Kowa the escort, perhaps that’s where he got this need to be followed, from the fact that his own baby brother was destined to be his disciple by name.
He challenges her, wondering how good she was at human mathematics. His father had mashed Aime Cesaire, Leon Damas and Leopold Senghor together in poetic prayer, his name was Frantz Omar Fanon…who could Kowa possibly be?
Kwame Nkrumah Kowa Ojijo
She sighs, lifting her right shoulder and bunching her lips to the side
He almost laughs at her weak attempt, knowing this was a role she was playing for him; maybe because they were standing in a cemetery, maybe because he had just asked her to marry him, maybe because his family was here. Maybe this was who she was at four a.m in the morning.
Amilcar Lopes da Costa Cabral Kowa Ojijo
He hands it to her, like a precious pearl he had just unravelled and wanted madly to watch her throw back into the sea; this was who they were, he toiled, sweat and suffered and then she threw away what he brought to her and they did it again, an absurdist circus of unearthly delight
I think I’m in love with your father
The words escape her as if they had been waiting quietly behind her tonsils.
You’re assuming he’s the one who named us
He points out. He didn’t want to wander into the wildlife park bonanza that was his parents and their… controversies. He had told her more than he wanted to. She turns away from him, as if sensing that he had fulfilled his quota. The gatekeeper was here with metal cups whose paint had fallen off at some parts yet clung to the cups in other parts as if sinking their claws into the war on rust. He was offering one to Lumumba, who didn’t seem to notice
She says fondly to the man leaning against a tombstone. There was an almost cacophonous arrangement of little triangles on the tombstone, just above the name; this was the sign that the grave had been worked on.
She repeats, seeing no sign of recognition from the old man, who was both staring at her with a knowing smile and ignoring her
He doesn’t go by that anymore. He thinks he is Patrice Lumumba
Kowa announces, having watched the dance this…woman…had danced with his brother at the foot of the fresh grave they had hidden someone’s child in. Who is she? She makes no sign to have heard him, turning instead to Rao for confirmation. He nods gently
He calls to his father, Lumumba turning to that friendly mortician who washed his wife for him
I don’t remember your name son
He says to the boy as gently as he can; whose son was he? Onesmus? Oduar? Jackton? Aristotle? If he could remember which cousin this boy belonged to, maybe he could call him something! Rao smiles painfully at the admission, hating that he evidently had more explaining to do from the look Jowi was giving him.
Would you like some chai?
Rao says instead. He could ask Kowa to drop the two men home as he finishes up with the grave…or he could ask the gate keeper to give them tea so they are at least warm
Mbai happily says, the idea so delicious in his mind that he isn’t at all shocked when a metal cup of hot tea is extended to him; he had, after all, summoned the tea there with all his might.
Whose child is that boy?
Lumumba asks his close friend, lifting his cup over his lips as if this would shield the loud whisper from everyone around them
He is quite tall…maybe Younus’?
Mbai offers, also using the cup as a shield for his lips. Kowa watches the two men lift the cups to their lips and stare out at Rao; he finds a crippling satisfaction in being the only son his father remembers.
Rao almost grabs the spade from Dalizu; he wanted to wipe the smirk on Kowa’s face with cold dirty steel. It must be his fault somehow that his little brother couldn’t stand sharing even their parents with him, as if whatever he touched were stained forever.
I’m Your son!
He wants to say to the man digging into his genetics with aged eyes…but what did it mean anyway to be Elias Henry Morton Stanley Ojijo’s son? Had he ever known how to need someone? To be someone’s child?
He feels Jowi’s gaze fixated on him, as it had been at the site of the accident. He could reach into her mind and pull her thoughts out of her, but he didn’t have the strength; not now, not at this hour. He felt that she was staring at his wound, perhaps in awe that he could be cut, perhaps jealous that someone could hurt him…someone that wasn’t her. Maybe she was doing that thing that women did, staring at the wounded with a longing to be the one to nurse them back to health, to hold fragile lives in their hands and put them back together. She didn’t strike him as the type though…maybe she was just staring at his skin.
In a few days she will ease it out of his throat. He will feel betrayed by his own vocal chords as the words march out in a steady gallop, punching through his tightened tonsils and sliding past his tongue
I had him put on anti-depressants once my mother died…but it might be DLB
He will say, his eyes tightened in outrage, his feet aged marble. She won’t ask him, he will walk to her in the hospital kitchen and hand her the vicious octopus that lived in his throat threatening to choke him to death, and she will take it with one word as if she had silently suspected that his father had dementia all along, as if she knew that he was struggling with the reality of the diagnosis, as if the heaviness of the word might was something she expected from him. He was one of her patient’s family members now; she was walking him through the emotions.
She will say, as if accepting the octopus, as if taking the dementia away, as if this was one more thing from him that she would carry on her back. He will hate her for it, for being so solid, for reducing him to one more load on her back, for lightening his worry by heavying hers; he will make it his mission to exchange his octopus for one of hers.
She would not admit that he had shocked her. She was at the microwave warming her rice and coconut bean stew when he had appeared behind her. Her mind was with that lab report she had just received on Mr. Ngumbi’s ischemic stroke, she did not hear the door open, his footsteps towards her or even his breath, just the words scratch his throat and run out, incapable of living in the harsh conditions of his chest any longer. She also heard him hate her for being the one his words had chosen to escape to; it gave her a certain strength in defeating him.
Issue #6 CONTENTS
MAKE DO AND MAKE MEND
STORM CLOUD RAIN, GRAVEYARD DIRT
THE BLUE BOY
MURDER AND CRUELTY FREE
S Van Sickel
A PROPER FOUNDATION
Awuor Onyango is a writer, visual artist, photographer and budding film-maker from Kenya. Her practice is concerned with claiming public space disallowed to people considered
black, woman and other, whether the space is intellectual, physical, in memory or historical. Her work was included in Walking the Tightrope, Poetry and Prose from LGBTQ writers from Africa, published in 2016. Her most recent projects are in the video art, creative documentary and animation fields.
View her artwork and photography here: