A Litmus for Love

I breathe in the dust of your dead skin. My lungs turn into lanterns that hold your light.
I hold your emotions prisoner inside my ribcage.
I get tangled in your rebellious, beautiful strands of hair left on my bed. The smell of you lingers there and sends colourful, nostalgic electricity through the layers of my skin.
There are holes in my heart; wounds from wars of words fought from the trench at the edge of my bed that we never wanted to fall into.
We were to watch our dog grow old together.
But now we just fight because we speak different dialects of love.
Our relationship became a litmus for love.
And minds shouldn’t be hurt when hearts beat.
Granted, I took you for granted.

There’s an old tree in Nairobi that I want to show you and talk to you about because only you’d appreciate the language of leaves that it whispers in the wind.
There are days when the raincloud that resides above my head explodes and fills the hole under my feet and I drown in the stormy waters our relationship sank in.
Letters and pictures and little artifacts; fossilized remnants of our manifested love. Relics kept in cupboards and laptop folders telling stories to nothing anymore.
Abandoned pieces of us traveling alone through time.

I fear we’ll forget who each other are. Your memories of how we met under the starry Tanzanian sky will fade. You’ll forget the time I drunkenly waltzed to the music we made from the sparks of infatuation.
And I’m afraid that I’ll forget the way I chipped your tooth with a hard, mistimed kiss or the way you’d hold the little finger of my hand or the way you’d pronounce the word apple. I’m afraid I’ll forget how you were the perfect blend of silliness and intelligence.
Pictures of how happy we once were are too painful to look at.

And now I will build ships in new relations with strange girls who cannot understand what the leaves say, girls who won’t know that my scars speak, girls who won’t know that my shoes must face the rising sun.
I will build ships and be a pirate that cares more for conquests than commitment. I will remain the fool because lessons in love are too painful to learn and I am old and unteachable and angry and hurt because you were porcelain on a pedestal and I broke you and us.
And one day I will write you a letter. One day in the distant future, a time travelling relic will find you and tell you how sorry I am.
How sorry I am that I didn’t let us see our dog grow old together.


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5 Responses to A Litmus for Love

  1. peacekathure says:

    Got me right in the feels :’)
    You should write a book. I’d read it….hell, I’d buy it

  2. peacekathure says:

    I literally just took a bow #bigfan

  3. Njeri says:

    Beautifully written…deep words those!
    Lovely and sad at the same time but perfect 👌🏾

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