Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Lesotho, Poetry

Sitting on a Stoep

The first time we sat on this stoep at night
a moon (Japanese lamp with moth-coloured cloth
tightly around it) stopped over her shoulder
& looked at what was happening in her lap.
Which was nothing more than our hands entwined.
It has since come every night to listen with us
for cries of life from bushes and trees,
where people we do not know rise, eat, pray,
go to work like us, fuck like us, & die like us,
expecting always from our world a signal of truth.
& so every night we sit on this stoep & wait,
here where sun-baked days bring their disciples;
we sit on this stoep & look at stars, far candles
that wink from other rooms. Knowing her as the girl
in my mirror playing with face-powder while
a woman lies in a pool of wine on the floor
has transformed my zeal. I remember a day
in August when rain scuttled us under the trees,
her red dress billowing in a gust & covering us
with a slow parachute as it was touching down.
Tonight as we sit waiting on who might come
& in whose eyes our innerself now grows, I
slip my arm around her waist under her clothes,
& work it so I may be able to get to her breasts.