February 22, 2012

By Melissa Kiguwa


nobody talks about the way losing a love does

more than ache your heart,


nobody sings the way this ache be a

travellin kinda wound.


a serial hunter, this ache


presses into lungs,


chokes blood flow,


plays artery lines

like bridge wires,


til all in all is falling down.


this ache rattles itself into bones.

sometimes you feel the tear.


cartilage, fat,

ligaments, muscles


all left discarded like the day

i held you explode.


nobody talks about the way a checkpoint

can rattle your bones.


or the color line.


the way a black heart can only hold onto

other black brown beating hearts


till it can’t love no more,

that love come again is a tedious journey

for these tired done turned lazy bones.


some bones are natural become griots.


they creak like stories of old abolitionist



breaking, sometimes they remember

hiding in swamps, sometimes they snap.


you can only wade in so many waters,

can only build continents across so many backs,


till all that gives breaks,

like the first heartbreak


where i held you,

your body breaking

from bullets that knew your color,


knew you too brown to be beautiful,

too beautiful to bud.


these burgundy bones

need more than calcium and rest,


but nobody tells the stories of

hands that abloom dead deposits

to living beginnings.


hands that massage salve into the

deepest shooting pain


resurrecting stars from ache

to something


your bullet could never touch,

until it did.


but nobody talks about this kind of

heart break, the kind that travels


like soldiers and

hurts like the time i held you explode.


based in kampala, uganda, melissa is a dusty footed nomad learning the beauty of being still. she is in love with babys’ laughter, chest to chest hugs, and soul to heart conversations on lifetimes and how we fit within them. she writes poetry and short stories that examine neo-colonialism, imperialism and injustice(s). in her works she reimagines liberation(s), new horizons, transcontinental legacy building, and love(s). she sees her words as a literary insurrection of sorts…


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