Just Once

“And when we dance,

when we dance

we dance to remember

that our feet

are still trying

and our hearts

are still breaking.”

Dance with me. Let us remind ourselves that our feet still carry the memories of a time when care came easily and laughter flowed freely. When to love ourselves was not just to listen and nod but to empathise, understand and feel together.

Come, dance with me.

Show me that, when the sun takes its leave and the moon basks us in her glow, you come alive.


A poet cries into the void.


Show me your pass to the evening. When all else is lost to the sound of a speaker pumping therapy into the still of the night, will you be there? Will you dance? Or, like an black man at immigration, will you cower away? Tell me.

Come. Let your body tell me the story of that one time. For it was only once, really. When you forgot to lock the door properly and he came in storming, kicking and screaming. You never knew you were that fragile, you never knew you were that fragile. Show me. Show me how he knocked everything down without even caring to look back at the trail of damage he left in his wake. Come out with me. Beneath a cloud of cigarette smoke and evaporating regrets tell me the story of the battle.

Tell me how you won.

And how you now keep the key safely locked away where no one can reach it. No one. Not even yourself.

Look around.

They are all broken.

The dj continues to play their sorrow away and you? You sit there, with this look in your eyes, as if not sure. As if, to release yourself, to drop your guard, for one second, is to destroy a millennia of work.

But what is music but millenia of emotion captured and dispersed?

And why else are we here but to feel and to be felt?

On the road to Kenyatta market there’s a man who cuts keys. This is what he does for a living. I once took him a copy of my key and now there are numerous duplicates everywhere in the city. Every single time I open my eyes another person has been here and left a mess. I have learned how to clean. How to keep still. How to tread softly. How to replace broken bulbs and make sure last night leftovers are in the right compartment in the fridge.

You hear this as me asking for your key.

 I am not.

I am asking that, for a few moments, you may stand on the balcony and look out at the vast expanse.

Come, dance.

The moon looks like heaven tonight.

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