I’ve watched her

Walk past me

In a dance trance

With the music

Of sunrise.

I was six

And she thirty.

I’ve heard her

Sing past noon

And into midnight

On summer afternoons

Calling in spring.

I was eleven

And she thirty five.

I’ve sensed her

Warmth demur

As she handed me

Orange juice

And a bar of chocolate

When I asked

For just water.

I was thirteen

And she thirty seven.

She made small talk

Of school and friends

And then asked me

Of my dreams and passion.

She asked me

What art I liked

And showed me

Walls of murals and paintings

Some collected,

Some created.

I bumped into her

Sometimes in the neighborhood

Sometimes in the market.

We’d exchange greetings

And make small talk

And then go our ways.

I passed by her house

Sometimes while on route

Sometimes while desired.

I was sixteen

And she forty.

She read me literature

And built a library

In my room

With her words.

She played me records

On a gramophone older than me

And sang along

Without missing a single word.

I went there

In the mid-afternoon laze

To welcome the twilight.

I was eighteen,

And she forty-two.

They started whispering

And spitting

With their forked tongues.

They stared at me

And threw dirt at her house.

They called me naive

And her shameless.

They said I was trapped

By her.

Without entering

The safe haven

Of our relation,

They’d labelled us

With their charred tags

From centuries left behind.

They hushed and skimmed

And advised me beware

In good will, they claimed.

They said her kind

Was best left away.

No. Wait.

They didn’t say her,

They said it.

They gloated of their

Humanity and

Liberty and


They told her

To leave

And not taint me

With her unnatural shadow.

She let them spit venom at her

Without a drop

Touching her.

I watched the shriek

Hollow words

To ears deaf

To their noise

By the literate words

She’d opened them to.

They called her

A disgrace

And a mistake.

But I swear

Upon the God

They called her

A mistake of,

That she was

The finest creation.

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