Thulisile Ngomane is a South African writer from a small town called Barberton. Her poems have appeared in print as well as online literary journals Down in the Dirt and Ariel Chart. She enjoys reading while basking in the sun on warm, breezy days. She has a steamy romance with tea that can find her curled up in a corner giving blank pages meaning on lazy mornings.
I tasted him in my cup of coffee this morning. Lukewarm and bitter, yet enough to leave me wanting more of that same exact taste. Black, because cream weakens his richness and removes his lingering scent from my tongue. Unsweetened, because along the way I’ve been brainwashed to believe that a man is unfeeling. When I am in his presence there are shadows of vulnerability that even the most luminous of light cannot erase. The day I met him, one could smell his sense of entitlement from miles away. He had to have me and he did. From the moment our eyes met I was his, mind, body, soul, I belonged to him. He was a fountain of bad decisions and dry well of promises but I loved him. I looked passed his ill temper and razor blade words because a woman should have forbearance my mother said. He makes me happy, at times. But I do not have a photographic memory to keep this one picture of him in freeze frame, to make the moments of happiness last longer than they should. I'll settle for this moment to moment happiness because it is far better than being alone. Yes, his love may be violently expressed but I have met men far more vicious. He is only a fraction of my father, I guess that’s why I’m only half as strong as my mother. I see it you know, the silent judgment from the women who know better. Through my tinted shades covering our argument from last night which left my indignation imprinted across my eye, I see them. I've conjured up this idealism of a man unbeknown to the existence of men. Hoping that my daughter will experience a tender love that doesn’t bruise so easily on the skin. An unimaginable vision of goodness of which she will tell her sons and daughters one day and they will marvel. Teach your sons that it is important to be human, to reserve humanity. Tell them how the art of chivalry was never dead yet merely suffocated by Neanderthals. To those who have already been ruined, remember your mothers and daughters. May you see your raised fists in the reflection of your daughter’s eyes because maybe then will you see your ferocity more clearly.
Ghosts only make an appearance when you least expect. God only makes an appearance when you least expect. The sea is the world's looking glass, I searched the world over but could not find him. Sometimes I think he chooses not to be found. Let the record state that I fought as hard as I could for my sanity, but it was oil in the palm of my hands that was bound to slip through my fingers. Endless one sided conversations and calling it prayer. Bended knees to altars I've never seen, singing songs I never wrote, paying levies for my recurring sin. But still I wait, at the shore for the tide to come in and bathe me. For the salt to nurse my wounds. Craving a mythical healing only attainable through death. The closest I've come to dying was vanquishing myself to this foreign land where no one knows me. It makes sense to feel alone in a place of no relation than in your own home. Desperate. High strung and desperate. Desperation can have you living outside of yourself for so long, you'll have no idea how to get back to you. This is slowly lacerating through every layer that took me so long to insulate my fragile core within. Stripped bare. I’ve tried to use these fig leaves to cover myself but you have not noticed my absence, have not yelled out my name. The fountain of living water from which we drink and never thirst? But I am parched. I've quenched my thirst from this very fountain and find myself having to come back every so often. Teach me how to drink of you, teach me. The journey to myself has been a long road but the one to you is endless.
Annihilation of You
My back still carries the wound, the blade sized wound of the machete you used. In folly I blamed Cupid, thinking he must have missed my heart when I in fear turned my back on fate. Forgive and forget? In order to forgive I’d have to admit that you hurt me, so there is nothing to forgive. Forgetting means total annihilation of the memory of you. Sniper in hand, tracing every step that you take as you run through my mind and at the perfect moment assassinating the very thought of you. Suicide, was when I thought I could trust you. Like an addict, I momentarily relapsed at every sniff of attention you gave I caved. From strong values to attention seeking my next fix. Going cold turkey was never an option because I never ran out of the supply of you, nor did I want to. The very first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Well I guess I don’t because you’re the problem here and I don’t have you. So there is no need to rehabilitate me back to my senses it’s senseless, to think that I fell in the absence of gravity? We denied any form of chemistry between us therefore the laws of physics don’t apply. It’s safe to say we never met, I never wept, I never slept and dreamt of you and I, and I never fell in love with you. For there to ever be a chance between us we would have to be strangers once again. Retrograde amnesia, you walk past me and at second glance turn back smile and say hi. But sadly life does not have a reset button. As flawed mortals we bit the hand that fed us breath and scripted our love story the day we failed to play our role. You're not fully to blame, my hand was dealt when I took residency in this here zone of comfort. Comfort of always flirting with the ideal of meant to be. Comfort of always being someone’s fantasy but never really anyone’s reality. And most frighteningly, comfort of built up walls of insecurities. But for my sanity, just for my sanity, the yoke must be fully on your shoulders. Because mine are too limb from having cushioned so many heads and being drowned by salt water. I, myself, thought I had found shoulders on which to rest my head. But my time has not yet come and for us the sun has not set. I’m not trying to deny your existence or the impact that it had me. It’s simply a case of selective memory. So if ever asked I’d have to say, I don’t remember you.
When does holding on become unhealthy? Clutching onto the memory of a loved one long deceased as to not lose sight. As to not forget their significance and what their presence once brought. I forget sometimes, that there was ever a time I had a mother. That I once lived a life that was considered a family portrait. I use to stare at your pictures for long periods of time, a few years after your passing. I was trying to imprint your face in my mind as to never forget you. Never forget your laugh lines, your big, bright eyes, delicate skin and lushes jet black hair. I told myself I would never forget. Never! It worked, for a few years but as the years passed it became easier to forget. You see keeping the memory so vividly was equally beautiful as it was torturing. It always ended with me in tears, mourning the loss all over again. My special form of torture was choosing to wallow in misery on the anniversary of your passing each year. It somehow made me feel like I was honouring you. As a kid I use to scratch out that date every single year from the calendar in my journals. It was a day that should never have existed I reckoned. So every year I would cry myself numb on that day as a form of solidarity. I needed you to know that time had not made it easier. Sometimes I could not recall your face and that gutted me inside. So today, as I looked into the mirror, my eyes swelled up with tears because I could swear you were looking right back at me. The face I tried so long to imprint in my mind had somehow become my own reflection.
you are a beautiful distortion born with a voice so loud it shatters through the airwaves of affliction reducing obstacles to lumps of clay that you reform to tangible dreams you nurture the universe from your bosom quenching its thirst for unrequited love you radiate Love and Sapphire you are home you are woman never look outside of yourself to find what’s already within.