I rub my hands across my eyes.



Twenty times.


Photo by Heather Zabriskie on Unsplash

I wash my face and stare off into the distance. I sigh. The air escapes my chest as a bubble that is as weary as I am. I look at my phone. 7 chats, all unread. I shrug. There were more chats yesterday. All asking for my attention, my love, my care, for me. I trade my soul for the wounds of other people, who forget that I too get tired. But you see, no amount of physical sleep can cure a tired soul. I have poured so much into other people that I am now an empty vessel.





Photo by Ahmed Rizkhaan on Unsplash



So I sleep the emotions away. I crawl into bed at 8 pm and I am out like a light. Sometimes the monsters visit me at 1 am, but these days they respect that I am too tired to even give them attention.


So I sleep. Like the world will stop momentarily. And let my heart and my soul catch up with my body.

I rub my hands across my eyes.




Twenty times.

This time a streak of tears glistens on my palm.


The Female Body


I stand in front of the mirror and regard my naked body; disparagingly. They say that each body is a work of art, so why may I not treat to it to critique. I sigh as I shrug. In the general sense of arms and legs, it looks fine. Well, save for flabby biceps and wide thighs. But the areas of my skin that my clothes do not hide are rife with flaws. Imperfections. Blemishes. Stretch marks trace paths over my ass, pointing towards…well. Scars are littered over my shins and calves, the memories of imaginary battles I fought as a free-spirited child. Acne scars scatter themselves across the bridge of my nose, connecting the dots of my incomplete adolescence.


I look at this body I own. In its awkward lumpiness and half formed curves. I sometimes despise this body. I wish it was straighter, like a stick. Glossy magazine cover acceptable, you know? But sometimes I wish…I wish it was like Beyoncé. A curve so blessed, it became bootyful. But at the end of the day, it’s the only body I have. I may dislike it on some days, but on all days, I respect it.


Soliloquy to My Lover


I heard, once upon a time, that life has a funny way of sneaking up upon you. When you least expect it, it happens all at once, and might just leave you a little bit dizzy from all the change. My mind wonders as I watch the buildings whizz past me, as I travel towards a place I call home.

“I would not call myself an obsessive girl. And neither would I say my thoughts stray towards you. Rather my thoughts stray away from you, towards other thoughts, seemingly pale in comparison to yourself.

I don’t want to give you a saviour complex, because I was not in need of completion.

But you came into my life, a tall dark stranger and smiled at me. A beautiful smile. Your smile. And somehow, my world turned upside down.

This is not supposed to be sappy or gross, this is a truth about the condition of my heart. Or perhaps former condition, somewhat old and torn, but still beating, still believing in love.

This serves as a soliloquy and a shout out.

To the man with the biggest heart that matches his delightful smile.

To the one, who makes me happy, makes my heart burst

It’s a thank you. For being here, with me, even if it seems like the distance is planets away.

This is for you being perfect. Perfect for me.”

It feels like no time has passed at all, before I reach my destination. My heart races as I walk, this feeling isn’t unfamiliar. It leaps, and bounds and makes perfectly timed pirouettes. Then I see you. And a smile spreads across my face, just like the millions of times before. I try (and fail) to hide it.  And then I am wrapped in your arms, in your warmth. Time melts away, and the world stands still.


It’s just you and me.



Tossed aside.
A casualty
Of the affections
Of a heart that was
Racing so fast,
It forgot to check
It’s rear mirrors
And inevitably

Discarded and disused,
Gone and forgotten.
A whisper in the memories
Of many nights long passed,
When stars would shine

For two unlucky lovers
Who thought they held time.

Downcast and disconsolate.
A girl who’s name you used to know,
A boy who’s heart you used to hold.

Lips that would part yours in kiss,
Are clamped together in a thin line.
Underscoring their disapproval of you.

Shuffling forward,
Away from the toxicity.

Your departure is as silent as a petal
Falling to the ground.


Battles of The Inner Mind


Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash

It’s a little bit funny,
How my heart will go out,
Smoke gun and barrel,
Waging a war,
But at the first sign of trouble,
Screams out retreat.
Dont get me wrong,
This is not defeat…
I’m not giving up,
But I’m not giving in.
I am protecting
My interests,
With dagger and knife,
Holding my sanity
Close to me,

I am outside my mind,
Convincing myself
That my heart is right,
When Lord knows I’ve never been more wrong

I’ve got the broken pieces
Of a trust betrayed
And you harbor none of the pain.
I have the tear stains on my face,
You have the gain
Of a story you were allowed to leave behind,
As I lay in the ashes,
Circling in our names
In the dust of the past.

I have a steely grin
Transfixed onto
A downcast face,
A heart of ice
That thaws to raw
And unforgiving muscle.

I breathe in pain,
In every sinew
Every pocket of air.

And then I exhale.
And let it go.

I swim in the thought
That my opinion is not absolute,
And while my feelings
Are valid,
They are misplaced,

And I understand.
That I am wrong.
And all I seek is forgiveness

This Is Our Sanctuary

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-07 at 10.47.35

 Oh honey,
Who would have thought,
I’d pull down the walls.
And yes the debris still clings to my hair,
But we’ll comb out the kinks.
Worry not, oh darling my dear,
It gets cold sometimes,
But we’ll hold onto each other in the dark night.
And when the night is over and the frost
Still lingers,
We’ll welcome the morning
With a smile,
And cast the rays of the sun,
Across the world, across our hearts.

I have been to the end of my tether,
I lost hope in faith
And sight of a new life,
I couldn’t even count to ten,
So I made my home
In a nest of zeroes and ones,
A binary code for a heart that’s cold.
Who would have thought you’d crack it?

Sit down and take off your shoes.
Just be careful to shut the door behind you.
The wind is violent, and storm rages on,
But hush,
Put your arms around me
And believe in our sanctuary.



Do they have cake in heaven?

Because I think you deserve a party.

On earth they say you are late.

I say you missed your last birthday.

But did you have cake?

Did you stay the same age?

Or have you grown older?

Wiser in the light of God?

Do your eyes still crinkle

At the corners when you smile?

Is your smile permanent?

They told me it would be.

Do they have cake in heaven?

Because I think you deserve a party.

i carry your heart by e.e cummings

the carrier

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Conversations With Myself

“Do you ever think about the end?” she asks quietly.

“that’s morbid.” His voice is barely above a whisper.

“I don’t mean death. I mean us. How do you think we’ll break up?” her voice breaks. Tears spill over and roll onto the pillow. She does not wipe them away.

“I don’t know” he says woodenly.

“But is it inevitable?” she pushes relentlessly.

“Yes.” His hand no longer holds hers. The sheets are a sea of distance. Their hearts do not know each other anymore.



image via Pinterest. Quote taken from The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

You are beautiful and you are enough.
No, you still sound like you
Don’t believe that you are special
So I’ll say this again.
You are beautiful and you are enough.
Your beauty is not fleeting,
And neither is it “on the inside”
It shines through
Your eyes,
And leaves stardust
In others lives.

You are beautiful and you are enough.
Yes, you have been reduced
To a notch
On a bedpost
A slit on someone’s wrist
But you are beautiful and you are enough.

I know that people have convinced you that
Your broken smile
And dirty eyes,
Have no hold of desire,
That your awkwardly lumpy
Is not up to scratch,
I know that the rips and tears,
On the walls of your skull
The mental battles
You have fought,
Have pained your heart
But you are beautiful and you are enough.

You are beautiful and you are
I understand that,
You have been pushed aside,
But sometimes gutterflowers
Find strength in the shadows,
Sometimes the moonlight
Is the serenade of your heart,
You don’t need to be loud
Because, sweetheart,
You are beautiful and you are enough.

Lockdown : the Aftermath (cont)


Photo by Sara Silva on Unsplash

I was mistaken in thinking that panic would ensue Milimo’s words.

Nope. I was greeted with overwhelming silence. Once again, we were a few misguided kids, trying to find our place in the world.

I sank into a chair and buries my head in my hands. I pressed my fingers to my eyelids, savouring the coolness of my fingertips on my overheated face. I exhaled, trying to wrap my head around the problem we had been presented with. Who could possibly have hacked us?

“Do we have any further information?” I asked croakily.

“The system the hacker is using is far beyond anything I’ve ever seen,” Milimo whispered, stuck between being scared and awestruck. “Their hacking methods are ridiculous. They set up several firewalls. I can’t even get their location.”

“But we can guess.” Silas said gravely, crossing the room. He stood in the middle of the room, flexing his muscles menacingly. “The only unusual activity we’ve seen was in the north of Lusaka. It’s pretty obvious that’s where they are.”

“We should go after them,” Stephanie piped up.

“We should do nothing of the sort,” I said, standing up. I walked right up to Silas and stared up at him, refusing to be intimidated by his huge stature.

“I already killed the whole country. I won’t let you guys die too.” I breathed out

“Oh, for fucks’ sake, we aren’t even living!” Stephanie yelled at me, her hair whipping around her face. “Those that hang out with the dead are dead! Do you really think hiding from shadows is being alive Chabota?”

“Steph, you were on my side.” I growled lowly.

“There are no sides!” She screamed angrily. “There’s life and death and us. But there are no sides”


I returned to my seat, feeling defeated. I needed the team to see reason, but the truth was I didn’t know what I was reasoning with them to do. As it stood, we were all sitting chickens, waiting on the sky to fall.



15.3879oS, 28.3297oE, Engineering Annex. STATUS: CONDEMNED

In the aftermath, I got used to the draft in the annex. Not because the windows were poorly boarded up with flimsy sheets of cardboard but because I never felt Stephanie next to me anymore when I woke up. We were miles apart. I often woke up groggy and wistful. Sometimes, Bupe would cross my mind, but I would shake those thoughts vehemently out my head. The past was behind us. This particular morning was colder than usual for a day in the middle of summer. I pulled myself from behind the boxes and woke up to what looked like a meeting.

“we’re glad you’re finally awake.” Stephanie said scathingly. I flipped my finger at her and pulled a chair into their jumbled circle.

“we’ve decided to investigate the activity in Lusaka North.”



15.4140° S, 28.2853° E, STATUS: INHABITABLE

Even before we shut down The Network, this old shopping mall gave me the creeps. It had been refurbished into office space for government spies, that masqueraded as people equally sinister. Interestingly enough, the black market flourished right next to the supposed law makers.

“I remember buying my first gun here,’ Silas said reminiscently. He chuckled as he added, “I also bought my first gun license.”

Milimo scoffed as he pulled out a tablet from his back pack. “They’ve completely secured the network. I can’t even monitor their activity.”

“did you try to look at the national electricity grid?” I asked non-commitally.

“of course, I did,” he scoffed.

“no need to be rude, brother.” I mumbled, throwing the peace sign at him.

“brother?” he asked incredulously. “Chabota, you’ve barely spoken to anyone since we shut this shit down!”

“you guys are acting like its all my fault. We were in it together!” I growled at him, taking a step closer to him. I flexed my knuckles, unconvincingly, feeling braver than I really was.

Milimo flung his arms apart and screamed, “look at you shifting the blame! I’ve been hacking into fucking infinity while you mope around the streets, picking up junk that reminds you of your dead girlfriend. I see you storing that stuff, in your locker dude.”

“it’s not like that.” I said, turning away angrily.

He laughed mirthlessly, “oh yeah, tell that to Stephanie.” Milimo turned away from me disgustedly. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Stephanie wipe her face as she stepped past us. I exhaled and fumbled blindly for a blunt.

Silas grabbed the blunt from my fingers and tossed it away. “I need you to be alert in this, we’re going in with guns. Also keep your goddamn emotions in check, you sound ridiculous.”

He stepped forward and motioned for us all to huddle.

“I can’t tell you guys I know much about what’s going on there, but I do know that its gonna be dangerous.” He said gravely. “Y’all got your weapons?”

Everyone nodded their assent. I was reminded that I needed to collect my own gun from the trunk of the car we had ‘acquired’ to get here. It was a very run-down Toyota Corolla. As I pulled the boot open and selected the smallest pistol I could find, I was reminded that freedom comes at a price.