By Kiiza Mohamed Minani

Damp sheet clinging to us,
into a bosom and is lost.

Damp sheet shuts out the storm,
the cold,
and rounds our little lives in sleep.

Distant thunder rumbles,
stones, glazed in rain,
rolling in.

Damp sheet covers my box of monstrous memories,
covers the candle that lights my world beside it,
my tent –
an island in the middle of an ocean.

Tents, shadows, domes,
my lost home,
wrinkling, waves rumbling across,
but I can’t get close and it’s dark inside.

Damps sheet smells of stale roasted yellow peas,
of families torn apart,
of over-fried mandazi –
this utopia of common basic needs.

Decades of resilience,
pale-faced moon,
deep midnight sky –

but who hangs from its cheek?
Plucks its bright honor?

Damp sheet clinging to us,
as better versions
keep me going.

Damp sheet that shuts out the storm:
there’s a wave on the river.
it shuts out the cold,
the world.

Damp sheet:
I’ve got foot in the water,
another sucked in sand,
and still I can’t glimpse our fate

16 November, 2023