to be alone and lonely iii

you are perched atop the malindi jetty
two brown bodies grainy, salty and sweaty
soaking up the late afternoon sun after an ocean dip

below your friends bargain for ocean fish
any amount less the stated; a hundred or fifty shillings less
just for the thrill and dignity of tradesman-ship

below young dark skinned swahili boys run naked into the ocean,
and as you watch,
he watches you and begs – let me in,

you laugh,
for you are stranger to yourself,
stranger to everyone and everything

does he know you always end with nothing and no one?

you stopped expecting anyone to stay  when you were younger
you thought yourself a home except you are a harbour
nothing docks and stays forever;

they come and go 

how long they stay
why they stay, how they stay
that is a thing of curiosity to you

where they lodge, where they lay,
where they find comfort within you intrigues you
you are a thing of mystery even unto yourself

like a ship at sea,
you let them advance and retreat
at your mercy

while you smile and splash about in Indian Ocean’s waters
he does not know you are at war with everything and everyone
especially yourself

you watch him like you watch the waters come up
break against the piers, then retreat back to the ocean.
soon enough you will be alone again

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