TABOKA DUBE – POEMS
You wanted to know how i am spending these holy months
You come back to me in small oceans in waves of silence
And drowse me in tenderness
We are so full with a dancing air here
I keep saying
“We cannot weep in public, not for any small joy like this”
But my body betrays me
And speaks all of the things i cannot
We are walking through the streets and stop by the corner.
The trees chase the whistle in god’s voice
Until they are knock kneed
Bent to breaking
Bellies facing the sun. leaning
Into some listening air.
I trouble myself often, with things of little significance.
Like when the rain comes, dressed in some fine linen
Who will gather the winds skirt, who will say to her. Come down from there
We are not gods and that is way too high
and can’t you tell i am falling from somewhere.
I think also of these languages, this brilliant echo of love
How it bounces off our tongues
Make sure to soften my excitement.
let the vowels dance.
Tiptoe in this disco hall mouth of mine.
we saying many things here
Many things we know very little about.
It is important to have bathed in moonlight and honey first.
I graze my hand across this arm
Open palmed, this feeling i can’t shake
Of having stolen god’s sight.
And hold this body like a babe.
We are resting in tenderness You assure. Speakeasy
There are many things to say Beautiful things that will leave the sky falling
Come dressed in silk
Poised in a strange warmth
With a crown of flowers atop your head Meet me by the ocean
And i will come back to you
In waves of silence.
Long car rides
Mustard yellow on brown skin
When i was young and saw the moon and the sun
Together in one sky
A conversation with our eyes
A zimbabwean morning
Sugarcane from my grandmothers lips
A portrait of my father
My brothers laugh
Sharing a meal
A lover’s return
A warm feeling recalled
Seeing my breath
A lightning storm
My mother’s smile
I am running out of beautiful things to compare you to.
Taboka lives and works as a carer in Sheffield while studying to go on and do Anthropology and African Studies at university.