My beautiful Kenny.
As mama and I prayed for you this morning she made mention of a little boy in primary school who told her he was upset that your teacher spoke to you about laughing in class. He said, “Mrs M, I don’t like what the teacher said because if Kie-Kie’s not in class there’s no light, nobody laughs and we don’t have any fun.” It made me cry because I realized I wasn’t the only one counting on you for a reason to smile. I’ve been sharing you with the world and yet for 28 years we’ve been holding hands. You’ve been holding me.
You know how obsessed I am with R&B music? The kind you can’t stand. The sweet melodies and ballads of broken hearts. The unapologetic expressions of sexuality and public declarations of undying love. The songs for mama. Allow me this one time to quote one of my favourites (may her soul rest in peace): “If tomorrow is judgment day, and I’m standing on the front line and the Lord asks me what I did with my life, I will say, I spent it with you”. I have very few memories without you, not because we haven’t had to live continents apart for many years, but because there’s very little I care to remember in your absence. Thank you for being my left ventricle, my spleen, my big toe, my right nostril. My whole heart.
Sparks-Brigols, a lifetime with you will never be enough but a day was more than I deserved, so 28 years—well that’s just God. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I pray you live a life coveted by the stars and celebrated by the skies. I selfishly pray your reality is your dream and your dreams are your heart because your heart is my bond. It’s all I have to share with this world.
And I wittingly do so because your love…it’s the bestest most funnest love out there.
Nakupenda more than I will ever know how,
Thanks for teaching me so much!
Thanks for always watching my back.
Thanks for being my best friend.
I love you.
I’ve never been in love with the sun, I’ve always found peace under darker skies. Not because I crave the wake of indiscretion, but because I covet the moon’s quiet embrace. No majestic rays command unsettled existence and yet the glitter of stars guide lovers of night. What greatness is bestowed upon the earth by such gentle light- the glow of a fatigued feature placed beyond the reach of man, pilfering song until the wind is the only whisperer.
Dear 24 Y/O Me,
Your life is an ongoing punishment. I would tell you to stay strong but the thing is, I am you. And I live us.
Dear Seventeen Y/O Me,
We stop liking weaves in our early twenties and cut all our relaxed hair off and go natural then get dreadlocks.
We search the earth for implied permissions. Permission to speak before humanity. Permission to feel from our loved ones. Permission to count among nationals. Permission to come into our own. But if we wait to be told when to speak, will they not also expect us to read from their script and pause at their instruction? Perhaps there is more merit in being different, in standing out by standing up with bruises all over our hands and faces; souvenirs that tell stories about our lives and all the times we chose to live who we are- unapologetically.
I’m in love with the written word. It is the amplifier of my soul and when I walk, it is the principle by which my feet are governed. It is a scrutinized publication of thought and speech; polished armour before the war. It pains me to leave at the discretion of others an interpretation of something so sacred as my words. They are mine and will always belong solely to me.
But there will come a day when it doesn’t anymore.