IN YOUR IMAGE

I have seen fragments of eternity in the smile of an Afrikan face
Contented by the chance to be visible in a world that sees us
As monkeys that have just learnt to blend into the bigger picture.

I have learnt to laugh with a dagger in my spine so that the knife
Twisters will leave me alone just for another moment
So I can breathe and listen to my heartbeat when there
Isn’t a soul to share my burden with.
My own voice is soothing enough for now.

My mouth tastes like saw dust when I think of the people who have
Hurt me in the name of eternal love.
Feel my stomach as it turns each time I see you trample me with religion and pour
Hatred into my shoes so that when I walk I feel this squishy squishy
Foam rubber they call religion that seeks to keep me from feeling
Proud of my own strength and valour.
I have already been to hell.

My existence is sturdy and unbreakable.
It will never make you feel small or guilty.
It is there to remind you that Afrika is a place of spirit over the tangible.
It is there to remind you that you are because I am.
My existence is there to teach you that you can be anything you have taught
Yourself not to be.

We are the same person you and I.
Except, I am the one inside your mirror.
You keep gazing at me,
Hoping that I will be more palatable to your illusions of
Human perfection.
There is only one way to make me change.
And that is on your side of your mirror.

All rights reserved


-Frank Malaba

Frank Malaba is an enigma to Zimbabwe, the country of his birth. Such a distinction is not defined by his talent as a poet, artist, writer, but by his advocacy, as a gay African male. He STANDS, though persecuted, he STANDS, to love, and he speaks his truth.  Malaba loves his country, but fights for his “very being.” He invites all gay Africans to stand with him, to fight for the right be treated as vital participants in African culture that deserve to be respected. His blog, Frank Malaba’s Prosetry, invites all kindred spirits to speak, love, and heal.

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