When I pulled me pants up, and ironed my shirt
Little did I think you were only the hint of the sun on the horizon.
You were simply one road across, in one building too dense, in one circumstance that led to a dead end.
So I put me slippers on, pink and glitter green.
Chucked a couple of notes in my pockets, hoping we’d meet.
Earphones plugged into my ears, music off, so I could listen to all that people didn’t want me to hear.
Because they’d finally say it without fear,
When they smile as I passed them on the street, turn around to look at my back and sport a spot to knife me sweet.
I had to get away quickly
Not because I was afraid of them. No, their stabs were wounds I could bend.
I was getting away from my home– Because home was closest to you.
I was walking in the opposite direction because that meant I was getting away from you.
In the dark dark night, where cars where shiny and accidents were many,
You were a hope I couldn’t dare manage.
So I ran.
I was wondering what it would be like to sit on the side of the footpath
with the beggar in dreadlocks and alcohol in his intestines.
There were worse things to do with you-re insides.
Like intoxicating them with love.
The thought was nauseous and I was too scared to sit– sitting meant I’d have time
to actually ponder and think
about what I doing here
So instead I quickened my pace and walked past that street
the one I used to travel upon for about 10 years of my life, if not more
the street on which I didn’t even know you existed
how did I go all these years not knowing you lived– you lived.
I saw girls who took my place and stood at the side of the wall, smoking.
Girls who were trying really hard to matter. They were giggling and going about
“He said this to me and then that!” Like school really mattered.
And then raised their long fake eyelashes at me, as if I was old and wriggled.
They raised their eyelashes inspecting
just like I used to.
The night was dark and I walked past, I let the girls be. They’d know soon enough.
Or maybe I was the one who didn’t know
Maybe they did know
I don’t remember what I thought mattered when I was like them.
So with no appetite in my belly, I went even further down the lane.
People used to scare me, now they just come in the way.
I held my back straight, tucked my stomach in and braved the sudden bright lights.
It was Diwali. or Maybe I had just forgotten what hope looked like.
Then I saw him coming– a guy in a blue t-shirt with too much facial hair for No Shave November.
He looked too old for me. That’s when I realized I was too old for me.
I did what I always did – looked up once, looked down and then sneak– THERE he was still looking at me.
But I walked on
because I HAD forgotten what hope looked like.
Hope wasn’t getting out of the house when you never wanted to
or walking down that unlighted street where no good girl should go
or listening to your best friend and trying to be courageous.
Hope was when you knew everything was dead but you still kept walking on.