Bianca Balti for Dolce & Gabbana Eyewear
Isabelle Nicolay for ELLE Vietnam
her forget me not - Tapiwa Mugabe
..have you forgotten me, she asks?
Do you not remember our long walks under unforgiving October suns
Barefoot - the baking earth melting our soles
I miss your grandmas cucumber
A perfect heat remedy
Or how she sealed her wisdom in a jar of peanut butter
Every spoon full making your bones remember the song of your birth
And did I not pour all of times sands into you
Using my hands
Also borrowing all three hands of time
To massage and rub honey and warmth into making you spread your wings
Yet today you tell me to leave
You say you are an unfortunate lover
She says, what is this new song you sing?
Chorused with a cacophony of apologies
Forget the dreams we forged but do not forget my name
For my tears will testify against you
And my tongue will tell of the ways you made home in thighs
How you made my body quiver
I tell her our love was young
Little did I know hearts do not number days as minds do
And my heart was an unreachable mainland
I kept an archipelagos of lovers
This is what I thought made me a king…
Mother says home is always is heavy on my heartbutterflies - Tapiwa Mugabe
But only because I stubbornly choose
to carry it on my own.
I show her how I carried Gogo’s joy, light
like pollen on bee legs.
How her smiles made my heart glow
and I danced for her.
What more is yearning to a back
that learned to saddle expectations born out of misogyny?
I came with a head worthy of a crown that
passed over her, her and her, and her….
Reasons why I keep prayers
in the seams of my soul for daughters
And a crown for each in my eyes and mouth
But umkulu kulu said we will see God’s wisdom actualize.
So I tell mama not to worry,
Though my heart is a wildflower
I was taught how to harbour a caterpillars patience…