In Bed

I​ ​say​ ​her​ ​name​ ​at​ ​times​ ​and​ ​all​ ​that​ ​sparks​ ​is​ ​her​ ​face. ​ ​A​ ​thought​ ​of​ ​her​ ​on​ ​the​ ​other​ ​side​ ​with​ ​a smile​ ​wide​ ​and​ ​dimples​ ​formed. ​ ​Her​ ​eyes​ ​never​ ​fold​ ​but​ ​stay​ ​wide​ ​when​ ​she​ ​smiles​ ​then​ ​she giggles. ​ ​She​ ​knows​ ​that​ ​I​ ​am​ ​staring​ ​and​ ​tries​ ​to​ ​act​ ​coy; ​ ​that​ ​I​ ​may​ ​kill​ ​the​ ​drenching​ ​stare​ ​that cuts​ ​through​ ​her​ ​eyes. ​

​I​ ​can’t​ ​help​ ​myself. ​ ​

In​ ​a​ ​whisker​, ​she​ ​turns​ ​her​ ​eyes​ ​to​ ​the​ ​wearing​ ​gypsum that’s​ ​blotted​ ​with​ ​dead​ ​residue​ ​of​ ​insects​ ​tramping​ ​on​ ​her​ ​roof​ ​as​ ​she​ ​sleeps.

She​ ​whispers.

​​You​ ​have​ ​to​ ​stop.

Why? I​ ​don’t​ ​know​ ​it’s​ ​just…

You​ ​can’t​ ​help​ ​that​ I’m​ ​starving​ ​and​ ​want​ ​to​ ​go​ ​down​ ​there.

I​ ​know​ ​you​ ​are. And​ ​… You​ ​will…

I​ ​let​ ​my​ ​appetite​ ​feed​ ​on​ ​other​ ​trophies​ ​with​ ​my​ ​tongue​ ​and​ ​hands​ ​searching​ ​until​ ​she​ ​signs​ ​and pants​ ​in​ ​relief.​ ​They​ ​don’t​ ​just​ ​search.​ ​The​ ​tongue​ ​restless​ ​for​ ​her​ ​every​ ​being​ ​takes​ ​charge​ ​from her​ ​lips​ ​down​ ​her​ ​to​ ​crowning​ ​pumpkins.​ ​The​ ​hand​ ​like​ ​those​ ​of​ ​a​ ​masseuse​ ​though​ ​dry​ ​can’t help​ ​but​ ​caress.​ A​ ​surge​ ​of​ ​hunger​ ​for​ ​me​ ​yet​ ​for​ ​her​ ​a​ ​restraint​ ​that​ ​burdens​ ​a​ ​woman​ ​for​ ​all the​ ​pleasures​ ​they​ ​carry​ ​yet​ ​so​ ​consequential.

I​ ​choose​ ​to​ ​breathe, ​focus​ ​on​ ​the​ ​here​ ​and​ ​now. ​ ​At​ ​first​ ​all​ ​is​ ​silence. I ​can’t​ ​feel​ ​my​ ​body. ​ ​My mind​ ​though​ ​a​ ​crack​ ​house​ ​has​ ​no​ ​self​-restraint​ ​and​ ​wanders​ ​off​ ​to​ ​melodies​ ​of​ ​another​ ​little​ ​bird. She​ ​was​ ​a​ ​bird…

The​ ​grass​ ​was​ ​green​ ​with​ ​fallen​ ​autumn​ ​leaves​ ​swept​ ​off​ ​close​ ​to​ ​the​ ​bench​ ​​ ​we​ ​sat​ ​-in​ ​front-​ ​a tree​ ​still​ ​nursing​ ​its​ ​youth​ ​with​ ​arms​ ​spread​ ​wide​ ​with​ ​a​ ​heaviness​ ​of​ ​leaves​ ​as​ ​it​ ​cast​ ​its​ ​canopy. Her​ ​skin​ ​was​ ​all​ ​raw​ ​with​ ​a​ ​slight​ ​glistening​ ​glow​ ​of​ ​Vaseline​ ​giving​ ​me​ ​of​ ​a​ ​feel​ ​of​ ​her​ ​lactating youth.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​ripe​ ​and​ ​her​ ​words​ ​filled the air.​ ​First​ ​it​ ​was​ ​how​ ​she​ ​talked,​ ​then​ ​came​ ​how she​ ​dressed, and then​ ​it​ ​was​ ​her​ ​lips.​ ​Dark​ ​lips​ ​that​ ​felt​ ​like​ ​raspberries​ ​dried​ ​(funny​ ​how​ ​colour deludes​ ​in​ ​pretence).​ ​She​ ​never​ really ​understood​ ​my​ ​eyes.​ ​I would​ ​devour​ ​her​ ​striping​ ​aside​ ​touching her​ ​as​ ​she​ ​fancied​ ​in​ ​silence.​ ​She​ ​could​ ​feel​ ​every​ ​spasm​ ​of​ ​lush​ ​that​ ​sparked​ ​from​ ​my​ ​aura​ ​and never​ ​tell​ ​for​ ​she​ ​adored​ ​to​ ​be​ ​naked​ ​in​ ​my​ ​mind.  She​ ​turns​ ​to​ ​me​ ​from​ ​the​ ​bore​ ​of​ ​silence​ ​asking

What​ ​are​ ​you​ ​thinking?


Who​ ​else​ ​do​ ​you​ ​see​ ​in​ ​this​ ​room​ ​apart​ ​from​ ​us!

My​ ​mind​ ​is​ ​conscious​ ​from​ ​the​ ​betrayal​ ​and​ ​I find myself​ ​in​ ​a​ ​muzzle on​ ​whether​ ​to​ ​admit​ ​my​ ​own​ ​demise. She​ ​hardly​ ​looks​ ​me​ ​in​ ​the​ ​eye​ ​admitting​ ​to​ ​my​ ​disinterest​ ​in​ ​words​ ​when​ ​all​ ​is​ ​a​ ​nebulous​ ​of craving.

You​ ​think​ ​too​ ​much.

I​ ​don’t.

So​ ​what​ ​is​ ​it that​ ​you​ ​do?

It’s​ ​not​ ​think…​ ​thinking​ ​is​ ​methodical​ ​and​ ​boring. ​ ​What​ ​I ​do​ ​is​ ​closer​ ​to​ ​being​ ​lost​ ​in​ ​time.


I​ ​sit​ ​up​ ​with​ ​the​ ​bed​ ​screeching​ ​and​ ​pick​ ​up ​my​ ​trousers​ ​searching​ ​for​ ​a​ ​cigarette. ​ ​somehow​ ​I know​ ​she​ ​will​ ​ask​ ​yet​ ​I ​let​ ​the​ ​thought​ ​pass.

You​ ​want​ ​to​ ​smoke?

Do​ ​you​ ​want​ ​to​ ​smoke?

I​ ​come​ ​back​ ​with​ ​a​ ​smile​ ​half​-​baked​ ​and​ ​with​ ​a​ ​goofy​ ​feel. I​ ​find​ ​her forgiving​ ​with​ ​a​ ​solitude​ ​acceptance​ ​as​ ​she​ ​nods​ ​in​ ​pretence. ​

Four​ ​days​ ​now​ ​on​ ​her​ ​bed​ ​just​ ​chilling. ​ ​Love​ ​was​ ​more​ ​of​ ​a​ ​feeling​ ​for​ ​me​ ​yet​ ​for​ ​her​ ​an act. ​ ​She​ ​wanted​ ​a​ ​captive, ​ ​a​ ​keeper​ ​not​ ​just​ ​a​ ​lover​ ​yet​ ​I​ ​was​ ​a​ ​whirlwind​ ​in​ ​sought​ ​of​ ​a​ ​wild rendezvous. ​

​I ​knew​ ​she​ ​was​ ​a​ ​mistake,​ ​though​ ​to​ ​her​ ​I​ ​couldn’t​ ​help​ ​confiding,​ ​listening​ ​until her​ ​well​ ​of​ ​insecurities​ ​ran​ ​dry-​ ​filling​ ​in​ ​incomplete​ ​sentences​ ​as​ ​she​ ​spoke-​ ​most​ ​of​ ​all​ ​stroking her​ ​locks.​ ​Dark​ ​and​ ​thick locks.​ ​I ​would​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​them​ ​at​ ​times​ ​when​ ​she​ ​was​ ​asleep.​ ​They were​ ​her​ ​golden​ ​jewel​ ​and​ ​the​ ​hasp​ ​that​ ​clang​ ​me​ ​to​ ​her​ ​love.​ ​I ​could​ ​tell​ ​how​ ​this​ ​proclivity came​ ​to​ ​be,​ ​though​ ​know​ ​it​ ​was​ ​too​ ​entrenched​ ​in​ ​my​ ​desire – ​I​ ​couldn’t​ ​help​ ​a​ ​girl​ ​passing​ ​with dreads.​ ​What​ ​is​ ​African​ ​about​ ​a​ ​woman​ ​if​ ​not​ ​the​ ​knots​ ​on​ ​her​ ​head?

My​ ​first​ ​puff​ ​isn’t​ ​elevating​ ​so​ ​I​ ​pull​ ​another​ ​swing​ ​from​ ​a​ ​deeper​ ​urge. ​ ​I ​feel​ ​at​ ​ease​ ​with​ ​myself and somewhere​ ​hear​ ​a​ ​whisper​ ​of​ ​Nina​ ​Simone​ ​say​ ​ ‘​ ​I​ ​got​ ​life’. She​ ​loved​ ​Etana.​ ​She​ ​scours​ ​YouTube​ ​in​ ​search​ ​of​ ​that​ ​song…​ ​​ ​ “You​ ​have​ ​to​ ​listen​ ​to​ ​this​ ​song,” she​ ​says​ ​softly​ and ​with​ ​ease​. ​

I​ ​will​ ​love​ ​you​ ​even​ ​when​ ​you​ ​can’t

Love​ ​me​ ​the​ ​way​ ​I​ ​love​ ​you

Hmm-mmm,​ ​even​ ​when​ ​you​ ​think​ ​it’s​ ​over

I’ll​ ​be​ ​right​ ​there​ ​next​ ​to​ ​you

It​ ​sounded​ ​melodramatic​ ​with​ ​a​ ​force​ ​to​ ​love​ ​that​ ​spoke​ ​of​ ​unfaltering​ ​loyalty.​ ​Etana​ ​has​ ​a​ ​voice that​ ​beats​ ​at​ ​your​ ​heart​ ​but​ ​her​ ​words​ ​tended​ ​to​ ​stick​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​caress.​ ​They​ ​were​ ​no​ ​words for​ ​a​ ​lover.​ ​They​ ​were​ ​words​ ​for​ ​two​ ​of​ ​a​ ​kind​ ​whose​ ​bodies​ ​were​ ​attached​ ​as​ ​rock​ ​so​ ​that​ ​their hearts​ ​never​ ​wander​.​ ​I loved​ ​it​ ​though​ ​felt​ ​amiss​ ​of​ ​poetry​ ​to​ ​feed​ ​my​ ​intricacies. How​ ​do​ ​I​ ​end​ ​this? This​ ​much​ ​is​ ​desolate. ​ She, I pray, ​​ ​to ​one day ​awaken​ ​to​ ​rock​ ​whose​ ​heart​ ​she​ ​will​ ​never despair.


Paul Kamonye