Because of the foreign language foaming at his mouth,
Uncle plays Kenyan and Ghanaian marimba music in
His car. This, he says, is what you do when your own country
Does not want you. You fall in love with girls on the other side
Of the border, girls raised by single mothers with tongues like
Knives. Single mothers who have forgotten how to smile.
The night of my grandfather’s funeral, we stood in prayer
Rooms with people who did not want to hold our hands.
Grandfather, buried under a lemon tree.
I fell in love with a man who does not say my name right,
With passport numbers memorized, war in his throat, his eyes
A light house. He says mudiwa (beloved) with a gun for a tongue.
On the drive to the Zimbabwean border, paralyzed with nostalgia,
My mother says, Remember that boy from Bulawayo? The one with eyes like wells.
This, I tell her, is what you do when your own country does not want you: you fall in love with boys on the other side of the border.