To the Broken Ones

By Ashraf Mbonimpa

We try to be perfect every single day
Yet we forget that too much of perfection is imperfection

I wish I could escape, the sun swindling in its horizon.
Wish I could erase, freshly fried mandazi dropped on sand.
Or even run away, a leaf falling off a young tree
But I am one of the broken ones, a leaky Jerrycan patched with gray duct tape

Broken since I lost a home and purpose, a bird without a nest
Felt like I’m in hell breathing fire
Am always learning how to live when no one is around, a barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
Like learning how to feel when the drugs run out, a distempered worn-out gawn

Even with my broken parts, everyone says I’m better off
Cold seeping into my bones like smoke from a chapati pan
It’s hard to tell the truth when you lie to yourself, shutting the cold out of the storm
You see my scars. I wear them proud, a crackling fire with flames leaping and dancing.

You are broken too, trying to pick up the pieces on the road to dark nights
Because you are always alone with no one to hear you, a woven basket leaking water
Holding nothing, and holding it all on your back
A calf abandoned in the middle of the woods at midnight.

31 May, 2023