(This is for you, East African poet, for calling me out when I needed to be called out. Because of you Jack Mataachi is considering a return in old haunts, the house spruced up. Thank you, my friend. So this is for you.)
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I suppose we must all betray someone at some point. Afterwards, when you know what happens, when you have seen the look, nothing can make it go away. You know nothing can make it better. You have no idea what feels worse. The look you can never erase, in the dramatic surroundings it travelled across to you. Or that you know you would still do it the way you have done it.
All the pity in the world is for those with remorse and a conscience and the cunning to trade their bleeding hearts at the gaming table like that Ace of diamonds. No one talks about the remorseless, those without conscience, those gifted with ice. Those who know what they have to do, how to do it, the cost of doing it, and do it. The merciless who ask for no mercy when their time comes. No rubbery jelly knees here. They who give the Judas kiss without the self pity of the still dark dawn of the gallows. Those without illusion. The worst you have seen is nothing compared to what they know.
No one talks about them. I always did know the things you did not want to believe could happen, falsely armoured though you were with a purchased toughness that fooled me for a while. Intended to frighten, you were like the prey who vainly thrusts folded bundles of money at the hired night killer you have stumbled upon in your kitchen who has come to kill you and had hoped first you would try and fight at least.
One day I will be a memory for you, physically inaccessible, a life lesson whose details you’ll only go over in your mind in safe solitude. I’ll first be the one who is not mentioned, then the one who makes you sneer, then the sometimes talked about and more thought of, and then I will be the sigh on your lips, life failing. Your sometimes ruin your profoundest memory.
Creatures of a moment propagating instantaneous beauty. Sunday evening Jinja beach, in the chill, watching the lake, you think I did not see, twisting to reach in the back seat for your phone, screen flashing in the dark of the Carib, waiting for me to walk down to you with the fast food takeaway I had been waiting for, taking the call. An excuse must be made. The pleasure does not matter. I’m the one your lover does not want much to talk about, teary-eyed, listening to Foolish Games by Jewel Kilcher.
So let me tell you.
This is some strange kind of love mojo!