Small love. Big love. Skinny love. Toni Morrison’s “love is or love ain’t, thin love ain’t love at all”. Early in the morning love. Love and honour your parents love. Love at the ends of its tether. “I can’t do this anymore” love.
Here Akhona Mjwara considers love as an escape.
a sparkling tree looms above us, iridescent from the tiny chrystals studding each one of its branches. she has her arms spun about me and i mine around her. we breathe in desperate union, a chorus for the tomorrows we are quietly praying for. occasionally my hand slips to stroke at the nape of her neck. apart from the light emitted by our magical tree we are in complete darkness. to keep our forest alive i must whisper its detail into her ear. our temporary magical forest is disturbed by a trample, a gruff torrent of demands. the night frill is lifted, an SADF soldier yanks us both out by our ears. our tree evaporates, our bed suddenly emerges. we are immediately swallowed by the brown and tan leather textured gravity of our present. from my pocket i grab a lolly for ayanda. tomorrow we will move again. she is 6 and i am 7.