This is what I think about when I make it to the tower at the top of the world while I shake my head right to left and rub my nose on the blue shawl I am glad I “borrowed” from the airline.
I say I love you to myself over and over again like a prayer.
Every time I say my own name I remember her and I think about sadnesses that are so fat they are unable to go through the vessels of the heart except in shrunken unrecognizable pieces of their former selves.
I say maybe there are other ways to live, maybe I should stand at the edge of all this and jump down and see what happens when instead of planning descent, you let the things that want to catch you do so and lay in their embrace for as long as your welcome lasts.
I realise the transparent glass box I rode to the top of this mountain did not scare me because no action was required from me for it to stay afloat, unlike the day that I capsized off the canoe after everyone promised nothing wrong could happen. Water has always wanted me in that jealous way of smoky-eyed lovers that are hiding darkness underneath their skin.
I have missed cities where the night does not mean that you must rock your soul in your palms like a baby, shush it, shut the door and tell your soul locking it indoors is what’s best as you sing Lala mtoto lala.
I buy a lovers’ padlock for half the price of stories I sell and write my own name on it and then I lock it onto the terrace’s fence, close to one that has come undone that says, “In this moment, life is good for Stephen.”
This is what the telescope whispers to my eyes: what defiance it is to think yourself special in a city that can blink another you into existence if it feels like it.
I summon an eight-year old version of me and she comes in the form of a hologram thumbing through magazines like Msafiri and the Marriott my father brought home and I tell her I can’t believe we made it.
This sorcerer child had a vision of the woman god made from me exactly as she came to me in real life six years ago, and that’s why when I tell my soul it’s just us now, she looks back at me like there may be a lie in there but won’t say anything about it no matter how much I beg her.
She said I belonged to her and I grew into a dragon and breathed out red-orange fire and roared Never. There are ways to be beautiful without being one.
I never realize how much people love me until I stop seeking them and they start seeking me, like someone keeps hitting Kickback during poker.
You- you come to me every time I touch a pen but never actually leak out into the ink, like a permanent need to clear my throat.
That one time you let my ink find you it came out beautiful like the henna that woman at Mombasa Beach printed on my back.
You’re right to be careful. My fingers- they have thought themselves god and written worlds into existence before.
*Psst I am soft launching a Patreon for paying readers, in which I will duplicate okasungora pieces (because open access). If you are capable, sign up to support my work: https://www.patreon.com/posts/seoul-26120001 Thanks.