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  • Not knowing how to swim,

    you gave me your namesake:



    The sky was bruised the morning we rode to Jinja

    rain parted the banana trees and sucked up the dust

    so the soil ran like blood under the bus tires

    We waited with the vultures

    waiting with the boda bodas for the storm to end

    to go to the source, they call it

    where Victoria empties into the White Nile

    Where is the source? we asked.

    The radio spoke:

    riots in the capital,

    insurgents in the north

    The muze spoke:

    When the elephants fight, the grass suffers

    All dogs have green eyes in the dark

    And the poet:


    Not to throw away but the sense of setting free something.

    And you, too:

    If I had one wish, it would be

    Going to heaven,

    without dying first.

    In a canoe we stroked past reeds hugging lakeshore

    a man sold us a tilapia,

    it seemed to smile as it gasped

    scales clinging to our arms like mirrors

    And when we waded waist deep in water,

    when you kicked your feet

    and yelled “hold me!” into the calabash of the sky,



    You held me.
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