Spend some time idealising people,

place them on pedestals,

then slowly start to wonder

if there is someone

somewhere out there,

in this too-big world doing the same for you-

writing endlessly,

draping poetry over your shoulders,

and crowning you with prose.

Is it so wrong to want to be

immortalised in ink?

To have your delicate laugh and husky voice

penned on paper for years to come?

She wants someone, someday

to meet her and think

she is worthy of such immortality;


the salty caramel of her skin,

the dull brown sparkle of her eyes,

the dusty pink of her lips,

the slight curve of her hips,

the moles scattered across her back like stars,

the roadmaps sketched across her

like contour lines on this map of flesh,

the arch of her ballet bent feet,

even her crooked teeth…

preserve her

in this linguistic sarcophagus.


Joanna Kahumbu