This is how every day begins.
At four hours of the clock,
a flat-mate of mine
will unlock their door
descend the stairs,
and hasten to the matatu bay
to catch an early one to the city.
As the rest wake up,
they will hear someone sweep up.
A young lady, our caretaker,
with a hell of a body
that should be in Milan, on a runway,
will be mopping the common walkway.
The stranger that’s my neighbour
will help her hubby start his day
by breaking his fast
with a meal of scrambled eggs,
before she assists their sons
to board one of the school vans.
Mukokotenis will ride,
from a door to another
delivering the day’s water.
Bicycle riders will arrive
at the local bakery
to fetch fresh bread,
for anyone that might desire.
Bitches and pussies,
will stray the streets, and roofs,
in the the quest for any leftovers.
Mutura? Nyama Choma?
a waiter at the adjacent sports bar,
will purchase his first cigarette
and proceed to open its gate,
sprinkle water on the dusty road,
write the day’s special on the board,
and patiently wait for what the day promises.
At another hotel, a bed and breakfast,
a waitress mopping the floor
will excuse a couple, or two, or three
that had come over, and slept over.
Mechanics will arrive, and await DMCs,
hackers will pick their goods,
Mama Mbogas will prepare their groceries,
the smokies ladies will light their wheeled stoves,
service men will produce noise from their boda-bodas,
drivers of safari vehicles will ignite their engines,
and matatus will remain loyal to their habits.
A beautiful old woman,
one of my first friends,
with a pair of fine legs
and an ass that forgot to grow old,
will wave to me – I’ll reciprocate –
and open her aptly named duka;
“xxx Beauty World”,
dust her Persian carpet and stalls,
and, for the rest of the day,
engage her handsome girlfriend
in apparently tall tales.
Up to nine,
I’ll be seated on the balcony of my house,
lost in admiration
of pretty faces and well rounded bootays
that I will never have,
that will never be mine,
observing, listening, and thinking
about what to do with my time.
…and hanging my feet on the rails
while having kisyanga or teas
and chapatis, or sandwiches,
or burgers, or ground nuts,
and writing (you) one of these.
Ongata Rongai, Kajiado.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014.