Before the party I put my makeup on,
a layer thick enough to hide the tracks of my tears,
they’ve been there for years
you see them, and still act
Foundation, first smooth, no hairline cracks.
it does not hide the scars
because you’re too smart
to leave a mark
where outside eyes can see,
your outside eye works perfectly
you see all other women but me.
Once in a while, I wonder
who else you’ve been under,
which is why I refuse –
and then comes the abuse.
I’ve laid the table. I’ve lit the candles I’ve cooked – it looks beautiful.
The lamps hang from the trees in the garden outside
our friends laugh, having a good time
you hold your glass of wine unsteadily.
Your party started a while back.
I feel foreboding.
Tonight is going to be embarrassing again.
You’ll be too loud,
And when everyone is gone –
you’ll be too loud, too forceful, too you.
I feel it in my throat – the bile
then I have to cover it with a smile
because you’re walking my way
and you can’t stand frowns on my face
someone might find out.
3 hours later, when everyone is
squirming uncomfortably because of you, I
carry the glass salad bowl into the kitchen for a refill, you
stagger after me, yelling expletives.
You raise your hand.
I feel a quiet in my soul, the
kind that comes before a mania,
when everything is in slow motion
and your thoughts have perfect, crystal, clarity.
I bring the perfect, crystal salad
down on your head.
You’re still conscious
I hate you with a passion
the blade of the knife in my hand – I’m
stabbing you and laughing, the
wine from your broken glass is forming a
toxic cocktail with your blood.
sit in this jail cell
wanting to laugh again
waiting to be acquitted – as I know I will
be, all they need to see are my black
eyes, swollen shut
wanting to sing, laugh, dance, shout – freedom at last.
Thank God I’m free at last.
(Based on a true story)
© Abigail Arunga
“She is a passive aggressive narcissistically inclined writer who hopes her dreadlocks will one day grow to the length of Maxi Priest’s hair and acknowledges the fact that her father doesn’t think she has a real job. She hopes to someday have a lot more money than she does now by writing hella lot/winning the lottery/forcing as many people as she possibly can to buy her first – and the others that will follow – book.”
In Search of Freedom is one of the 85 poems in her new anthology called Akello which retails for Ksh. 600 only.