Writers Space Africa-Rwanda
Issue 1 Poetry

Two Poems – Ange Dusingize

Suit

Comb your coils.
From ear to ear don’t leave a single hair.
Nappy and embroidered, thick 
Like a fine blanket, crocheted.
Don’t wear exhaustion on your collar.
Let it strangle you and knock the breath out of your lungs
But tie that noose well, boy.

Look proper; don’t embarrass your lineage.
Your comfort isn’t that important.
Until perspiration bears gold,
Tuck your shirt in tight,
Let no crumbs fly loose from your poor breeding.
Make do like other boys,
Look similar with your laces tied and shoe shone,
Don’t let anybody see the hood in the cracks of your buttons
That strain harder than your determination
To keep this household at bay.
 
Don’t complain, boy–
The shoes are twice big, I know
But no one will know.
Walk like the white boy walks,
Walk like you’re not afraid, even if you’re hunted,
Let me not see a tear on your chocolate cheek
Until you bring a Brown baccalaureate
Or buy billions with your brains.
 
Boy, wrap your complaints in that cotton coat
Until you stifle them into submission.
Accept your lineage
But never accept to drown in its shortcomings.
 


Skyscraper

Why do you keep dying?
Today you’re all smiles, jumpy, for many miles
You skip and whistle and float like a mirage.
But as the sun sets, your complexion dulls and your eyes sink,
Your sighs, oh so long silences,
That forlorn, lonely look that you cast 
When you think no one’s watching worries me.
 
You say the air feels so nice atop the skyscraper.
The breeze brushing against your chocolate cheek
But I wonder if it’s the view that enthuses you
Or the thought of falling undeterred,
Being at odds with the winds, if only for a moment.
I wonder, do you see the ground below when you think thus far?
Do you see the crowd, looking up, in horror,
Asking, “Did you learn to fly?”
Despite their dread of getting sodden in grief and guilt
When the fall ends and you are confronted by the harsh ground.
 
They say they could have solved your problems, solved you
But we both know that isn’t true.
Still, why the skies and their intermittent gravity?
What about fighting that scares you, that
Keeps you up at night, that
Sucks the life out of you,
That you can’t even resist?
Why not earthbound, with me?
I’d be bound to help, would you let me
But you say, “It’s harder than it seems; dying is the easy part.”
And I ask, “Why aren’t you fed up with dying
When there’s so much life in your charcoal eyes
That glow so fierce on the good days?”


Featured image by Tim Marshall via Unsplash

About the Contributor

Ange Dusingize is a twenty-year-old writer and poetess based in Kigali. After starting her writing journey in 2020, she has since written over 200 poems, many of which are featured on her poetry Instagram page @d.a.poetry. She has competed in various poetry competitions; among which she won First Place in the World Engineering Day: Poetry and Essay competition in 2021. She has published one completed novel on Wattpad and is working on her second book. In her free time, Ange enjoys reading novels and cooking.

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