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The Truth is A Nasty Prediction

A man who has nothing to die for is not fit to live. ~ Martin Luther King

 

Before we begin, let me assure you. I am well aware of the risks of writing and publishing an article such as this one. Especially in a country like ours.  Let me also assure you: I believe that any day is a good day to die. As a Christian, and a staunch Catholic at that, it would be foolish and arrogant for me to believe that my destiny and life are fully under my control. Brave, yes I am. Do not believe that bravery, or courage, means an absence of fear. It means acknowledging fear but acting in spite of it. It denotes a triumph over fear. Dying is easy, it is living that is hard. In this life The Almighty has seen fit to give me more than my fair share of pain and anguish, but who am I to judge. He has also given me a lion’s share of happiness, fun, love, friendship and pleasure, for which I am eternally grateful. By His Grace we live, and by that same token we are saved.

 

From Njoro to Marsabit, from Mombasa to Embu, from The Congo to Somalia, from Rwanda to South Sudan, I have looked into the abyss and it has looked into me. I have laughed in the face of the devil, and wept in his presence as well. I have nightmares and sleepless nights, begging, yearning, for daylight to arrive. I’m haunted by voices and memories of things I did and shouldn’t have done, and things I didn’t do and should have done. It is not an extraordinary thing for me to cry and laugh in one day like a baby coming from God’s hands, fully aware of what this despicable and delightful planet has in store for him. I am as intimate with man’s capacity for evil, as I am familiar with his propensity for good. But this article is not about me. It is about my country, the land of my brothers and forefathers, the land our people have shed precious blood, sweat and tears for, the land I love.

 

 I am not a prophet and will not claim that I am prophesizing the coming of doom. I have not seen any vision, not had any dreams, not looked into any crystal balls, not burnt incense, and not had any commune with the spirits of the deceased and I am not even interested in the idea of fortune tellers. Anyone who has read some of my more serious articles will know my opinion on the fallibility of prediction; but will also know about my belief in the unexpected, what we refer to as the Black Swan. My argument stems from deductive reasoning, adding up the signs right in front of everyone, reading the headlines in the Kenyan newspapers and observing reactions of Kenyans to various issues. I have no prognostic aptitude for the future and there is nothing quite definite about the way the future will behave. The only conclusion possible by looking at the current state of this country and policies and politics being actively promoted by its leaders is an eminent conflagration; a war of immense proportions that will destroy what is left of the country after 50 years of active political mismanagement. That conclusion is not a scare-mongering attempt; it is as a result of objective analysis.

 

For some Kenyans the possibility of war is not breaking news. They know their country is on the fast lane to civil war but they are not prepared to concede it. Acknowledging that a problem is at hand confers upon the individual the responsibility to procure a solution and Kenyans are not willing to take that responsibility. There is an eminent war and the discussion about its likelihood has replaced boardroom banter on politics and business. The citizens of this country believe that it cannot happen here and want to solidify that belief with complete denial of the slippery slope we are on whose bottom lies the burning coal of civil strife.

Many countries in Africa have been overtaken by conflict and reduced to failed states. The war did not come overnight; it brewed over a long period of time. The embers of fire were sown first through colonialism, tribalism, corruption, class war between the poor and the rich and then through appeasement of foreign entities that create their own stooges in Government. By the time a war breaks out a country is so weakened by institutional inefficiencies that it is no longer able to serve its people. The rule of law breaks down completely, citizens take matters into their own hands leading to public lynching of criminals and those suspected of petty crimes. Extra-judicial killings by security forces become common place. Corruption is mainstreamed breeding tribalism, nepotism, favouritism and other isms that are used to describe unequal treatment of citizens because of either tribal, demographic, sex or some other likeness.

In failed states politics is an end game in itself. The players have no other goal other the political game they are playing. The political game is played at the elite level; the population is far removed from the politics of their country. Either the country is governed by a weak dictator ruling through symbols or a superficial democracy with degraded moral sense. Weak dictators are probed up by foreign Governments and corporations engaged in business or natural resource exploitation. The dictators hang onto power for themselves and the interest of their foreign backers. Where the country is ruled by an elected Government, its politics is perverted, infected by tribalism and corruption. The state suffers weak and ineffective governance systems and institutional failure. These are the ominous signs that something is afoot in an African country. Countries like Somalia of Siad Barre, Uganda of Obote and Amin, Zaire of Mobutu and Rwanda of Habriyamana fall in the first category while Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Kenya fall in the second category.[i]

A Government is created by choice of the governed to protect their life, livelihood, property and pride. This means a Government that does not protect the citizens life is not worthy of existence. One that does not take care of its citizens by guaranteeing their basic survival should not exist. A Government in which private property legally acquired by a citizen is not protected has failed its basic duties. Governments are supposed to create conditions for the citizen to live a comfortable life. It may not be the role of the Government to feed its citizens but it should not block them from feeding themselves. A Government can block a citizen from feeding himself through actions or omissions. Access to common facilities like roads, railways, airports, hospitals, schools, recreational facilities and other infrastructure should be taken for granted by a citizen. The actions of Governments to provide these facilities ensure that the individual citizen is able to aspire to improvement of his life. If a citizen cannot have an access road to a market for his products, this means the state is in fact blocking the citizen’s right to feed himself and his family. The state is the facilitator of business and professional life. Citizenry vote and pay tax to establish the structures and fund the administration of the state. This is the social contract, an implicit agreement between the state and the citizen in which the citizen accepts to live under the rules of the state and the state enforces the rules. The relationship collapses once one party fails to honour its part.

Citizens wage wars to get rid of bad Governments. The major cause of civil conflict therefore is the citizens’ grievance against the state. The tools employed for such wars maybe just an excuse. A tribal strife in a country means the state has created conditions in which the tribes feel that other communities are denying them their rightful share of the national resources. The basic demand for warmongers initially is equity and equality before the law and common participation in Government. If favouritism related to tribalism is suspected by tribes then that dissatisfaction may brew into a war.

In Kenya, mismanagement of national affairs has been going on for fifty years. Change at the top level of leadership has changed nothing. Introduction of multiparty system has worsened the situation by balkanizing the country into regional and tribal fiefdoms under snobby tribal chiefs. The elites and the rich have amassed unprecedented level of wealth and power through dubious practices at the expense of the population. Their sole objective is the need to consolidate their power and wealth. Criminals are holding the reigns of national affairs and they have insulated themselves against the law using the strength of their tribes.

The judiciary has all but collapsed. Chief Justice Willy Mutunga is doing an excellent job, but there are too many forces against him, both within and without. Despite the enormous number of political criminals, corrupt civil servants and powerful individuals being caught on the wrong side of the law, Kenya remains without even one successful high profile conviction of a celebrity criminal.[ii] The courts are as scared as the police are of the criminals in civil service. The politicians aligned their tribes behind them and are daring anybody to take any action. The consequences for the country of any challenge on these tribal chiefs will be calamitous. The tribes themselves have become enlightened to their own paltry status. They are blaming their fellow tribes as scapegoats since they are powerless against their own tribal chief.

The governance structure in Kenya itself is untenable. There is no separation of powers. The parliament is also the executive. The civil servants are political appointees whose loyalty is to those who appointed them. What is worse is that the civil service is frustrating the noble ideas and goals of the current government. The Jubilee Manifesto, if implemented, will change this country greatly for the better. But the civil service is trying to create a parallel government, which as as dangerous as a black market or a powerful Mafia. When a senior civil servant can say, to no less a person than the President’s speech writer himself, that the President should tone down his anti-corruption rhetoric because it is lowering the morale of the civil service, what kind of country do we live in? Where the morale of corrupt incompetents is more important than progress? Who is in control? Who is backing such civil servants? They think they are untouchable, but we will touch you where you have never been touched before. If we fall before we carry out this noble and patriotic endeavour, others like us will finish the job; rest assured.

The constitution is still a piece of dictatorial mumbo jumbo that means nothing to the citizens. Constitutional change has become almost impossible because vested interests will not allow any change in governance.

This is the country we have at this moment in our history. Increasingly the citizens are taking matters into their own hands and attempting to change this despoliation state. The war will become a reality the day the large numbers of security forces become tangled in the political and tribal quagmire. If the security forces feel that they are being discriminated against on tribal or other orientations, war is eminent. There is no way the security forces will be immune to the state of affairs of the citizenry. There are already murmurs that recruitment has been corrupted and tribalized, promotions are no longer on merit and institutional deficiencies are affecting the armed forces. The weakness of the laws that make extra judicial killings and mafia style targeting of witnesses possible make it impossible for honesty and impartiality in the keeping of the peace. The security forces will only be disciplined if there is a law to be upheld, a judiciary to punish offenders and a Government to fund this process. If these pillars are undermined there is a real risk of collapse.

My view is that all these factors are ganging up against this country and making it possible for a war to break out unless some circumstance or someone changes Kenya’s direction. Any challenges to the political cobwebs pulling the country apart may in themselves lead to war.[iii] There is no hope that the political class will look up and see the ominous clouds gathering overhead. The raindrops of blood fell in December 2007 claiming 1500 lives in the violence that followed the stolen elections. The blood of Kenyans is already oozing all over the place with gangs slaughtering villagers in Central province, Kisii and Mount Elgon, gun trotting bandits rustling livestock in Isiolo and run away crime taking over all major urban centres. Terrorists lobbying grenades and planting IEDs with abandon. Westgate happens and months later we have no meaningful response or change? There are hidden daggers drawn, arms are coming in from all major borders with neighbouring countries.[iv] While politicians are acting like they are in control, the country is already out of control. Kenya is spinning fast off course. The wave of mistrust and hatred between the 39 Kenyan tribes and the other 3 is very high. Politicians are practicing funeral politics, where they make political speeches over dead bodies before they are interned; an ominous sign of things to come. There is an agreement among experts that there is a grave concern of persisting political and ethnic strife, that there is pervasive public anger by the majority poor citizens and ethnic mistrust is deepening and all these will lead to an almost assured outcome of war come… Who knows when?[v] [vi] [vii] [viii]

The citizens have a right to be warned, to take heed to refuse to be drawn into the eminent war. That is easier said than done. The war is likely to spar citizen against citizen. The only option is massive revolt by the people of Kenya against the political class, a revolution whose leaders will be aligned to no specific tribe.


[i] In “State Driven Conflict in the Greater Horn of Africa” Professor Peter Wayande of the University of Nairobi analyses the causes and costs of wars in Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and other regions in the greater Horn of Africa. Richard Joseph in Challenges of a Frontier Region says, “Contemporary African leaders may govern as autocrats (Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea) or as democrats (John Kufuor of Ghana, Amadou Toumani Touré of Mali, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania)—or else may oscillate between these two models”  

[ii] There have been no high profile prosecutions for the political murders of J. M Kariuki, Tom Mboya, Gama Pia Pinto, Robert Ouko and Professor Mbai. No one was prosecuted for Goldenberg scandal, The Anglo-leasing scandal, the Mahindra Debacle, the Artur Brothers scandal, the Maize scandal, the Triton Scandal and the many other high profile cases of grand larceny. There has been no attempt to conclude the genocide case of the Wagalla Massacre victims. In fact Kenya has never successfully prosecuted a high profile criminal for any crime civil or criminal.

[iii] The report “On the Edge of a Precipice compiled by Kenya National Commission on Human Rights make pointed conclusions about the perpetrators of the 2007 election violence. The report names top tribal chiefs and their political supporters, people whose are able to dare anybody to touch them.

[iv] A source that needs to remain anonymous corroborates this statement. People living in various border points in Kenya have confirmed that they have witnessed unusual movements of arms destined for sale in Kenya.  

[v] Kiai, M. & Gladwell Otieno, One year on: Kenya on a knife-edge Action points for US policy-makers on current risks to Kenya’s stability, a briefing for US Policymakers, March 2009.

[vi] Professor Bethwell Ogot, a prominent Kenyan Scholar and Chairman of Moi University council was quoted in the Daily Nation saying that the post election crisis has exposed the falsity of Kenya’s calm as a peaceful state.

[vii] Professor Ali Mazrui writing in Pambazuka News argues that ‘The Kenya presidential elections of December 2007 are potentially the most damaging episode to national unity since the assassination of Tom Mboya in July 1969’

[viii] Korir Sing’oei, Kenya: Unfinished Business – Moving Forward, 18 June 2009, www.allafrica.com

 


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Now I Know

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When I lie,

Right next to you

Under the silver moon

I’m as close to heaven as my sinner soul will go

And you

You are sweet poison

With an angel voice…

You sing me to sleep

As you make my bed in hell

 

Now I know

You’re no good for me baby

You’re my fork in the desert road

But I know

There’s no turning round

I’m too far from home…

 

Hata vile

Nilikuwa mtaji Mungu

Sina sali

Itakayoweza kuniokoa…

Upendo wako

Ni mfoko

Umenifanya nizame

Umenibeba…

Niongoze nikufuate…

 

Now I know

You’re no good for me baby

You’re my fork in the desert road

But I know

There’s no turning round

I’m too far from home…

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Nonesense on Stilts: Astonishingly Crappy Things in our ‘Modern’ Kenyan Society: And Yes, the List Includes Kenyans on Twitter

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Coddled spoilt rotten middle class. Apart from their apathy, our middle class is the embodiment of foolishness, sheepishness, laziness, complacency and silly choices. They actually think that as long as they have their job, their car and their house they are fine. They think the fate of the man in the slums is not linked to theirs. They think that the fate of the family being terrorised by criminals in Bungoma, Marsabit or Baragoi is not linked to theirs. My friend, it is. And it will be a rude awakening when that fact is driven home, as it will inevitably be. Now there is this new phenomenon among the middle class where people blame their shitty choices and personalities on their past. This new fad was debunked a long time ago by the way, in law and psychology we call it the Abuse Excuse. Ati cause you were beaten as a child now you are a violent adult and it’s not your fault. Woiye. Ati you parents didn’t love you or hug you enough so now you are a cold person unable to form meaningful relationships. Woiye tena. I heard someone saying that they are promiscuous now because they were raped years ago. Aki gosh. Woiye tena. Self pity is such a turn off.

    Let us examine this issue a bit deeper. We can’t control all the things that happen to us. But we can control how we respond, how we react. In a house where one of the parents would abuse the other parent, whether physically, verbally or emotionally, you’ll find that the kids turn out like this: One will endeavour to have a happy family of his own devoid of strife and abuse, cause he wanted the exact opposite of what he experienced while growing up. The weak one will have a similarly miserable situation as his parents, cause that is the only example he knew and thus has no choice but to spend his whole life paying for the sins of his fathers. These kids grew up together and saw the same things. Now child number two is many people in our dear middle class.

     If the logic or lack thereof of the argument is to be accepted, that what happens in our past permanently shapes us and can’t be undone, consider this. I was born and bred in a sleepy town called Njoro, in good old Nakuru. Njoro is very interesting. You can call it the melting pot of Kenya’s flashpoints. Every five years since the advent of multi party politics we have had tribal clashes. I saw arrows in people backs, limbs hanging by a bloody thread, dead bodies being carted away for the first time when I was roughly seven years old. I continued to see this every election cycle, apart from 2013. (In 2007 my family and neighbours assumed there would be violence cause that was what we were used to, so we prepared for it. I told many of my pals in Nairobi that there would be violence but peeps brushed me aside, saying Kenyans are too afraid to fight. Hehehe. Never underestimate the Black Swan my friend). In the intervening periods of peace in the nineties, we were paid a number of visits in the still of the night by armed robbers who you would not define as gentlemen. More than once when we were in primary school we’d be caught in the middle of tear gas filled battles between the GSU and University students, thanks to the propensity of Egertonians to strike for almost any reason. The violence meted out on both sides was shocking; people being beaten to within an inch of their lives, getting shot, peeps jumping out of buildings or being thrown out, you name it. But at least most of it was quite entertaining.

       Based on the above condensed life story, according to the thinking of these abuse excuse peeps and your local psychiatrist, (just like bankers and stockbrokers/investment managers, psychiatry is a profession populated by quacks) I should be a learning challenged cold hearted emotionally stunted bitter at everyone violent short tempered sado-masochistic psychotic mass murderer with a chip on his shoulder whose outlook on life is irretrievably ruined. Hahaha. Po.

       I have friends who survived the Rwandese genocide. They were forced to watch as their pals and classmates were locked up in the school staffroom and burnt alive. There were others who had to hide in rooms the size of a bathroom for a whole month, living on nothing but water and scraps of leftovers, as they heard their neighbours and people who they had thought were their friends looking for them and bragging about how they had killed the rest of their family. Some had to hide in a pile of corpses. There is someone whose brother’s head was chopped open because the interahamwe wanted to see what a brain that had earned a university degree looked like. Now the people who lived through this, the ones I know and have become friends with, are some of the warmest, most considerate, passionate and fun loving people I know. Yet your pseudo-science and ‘modern’ beliefs state that these people should now be mere shells of themselves, condemned to a life of sadness and re-lived trauma. This so much horse shit they should use it as manure for that new irrigation scheme in Kilifi.

       You aren’t depressed. Even if your sad times are extremely low, and your happy times are extremely high, there is nothing wrong with that. God put emotions in us for a reason. Some of us just happen to feel them more intensely than others, and that’s just fine. Fuck valium and lithium. Unless you are using them recreationally. Hehe. You are not bi-polar; you are just a bitch. Your mind and your past are not fucked up; you are simply a shitty person because that is who you have decided to be. You haven’t gained weight ati cause you’ve been eating comfort food to get over your sadness, stress or yet another breakup. You’ve gained weight because you like eating and you lack discipline. And by the way ladies, let me just save the men in your life right now from a stupid question you keep asking. Hopefully you’ll never ask it again. Ati “Do I look fat in this?” Clothes do not make you look fat. Fat makes you look fat. Now onto some more cheerful shit.

      Kenyans on Twitter. Or KOT. People are actually proud to be part of an organisation with such a silly name? My opinion about Twitter has been expressed before – Social media is like a nightclub. LinkedIn is those peeps at the bar who are neither drinking nor smoking, or even dancing – just judging the partiers. Facebook are the guys in the club having the time of their lives, partying like it’s 1999. Twitter are the peeps in the bathroom doing drugs and bitching about everyone else. Yeah I said it.

    When Boniface Mwangi tried to organise his demo through Twitter, thousands confirmed they would show up. Wapi. If there has ever been an amazing collection of spoilt cowards, they can be found on the aforementioned site. I hear ‘tweeps’ actually have beef if you use, post or tweet their tweet without acknowledging them. My nigga. Yaani your life is so narrow in scope mpaka you want to copyright a 140 character statement? And then you have pissing contests about who can say better shit? Wa. Amazing. So the only ‘achievements’ of KOT is the fact that they got a wet behind the ears reporter for a racist propaganda news channel to apologise about a misleading headline. Wow. You’ve really changed the world people. When Dennis Itumbi or Robert Alai says something you don’t agree with, you all rail against them like rabid dogs; and then pat yourselves on your collective stupidity infested head for ‘putting them in their place’. At least those niggas are making a tangible difference, while the same can’t be said for you. And then you are proud that you won an online battle against a nation of pompous illiterates like Nigeria. Wow. Well in. Oh my God. God is watching you.

        Dear Kenyan artistes – musicians, writers, movie and tv producers – Where is the rebellion? Where is the revolution? Where is the useful direction? Only Rabbit the Swahili Shakespeare? And of course Juliani? (And that’s a seriously solid nigga by the way) Eric Wainaina tried for a while, though some of his songs were too direct and preachy. Music and film has the power to move people in ways that few things can. They can pass a message, they can shape culture, they can mould a generation. Yet with such a grand platform the best you can do is tell us about how you party, ball and roll (And yet you have baby class money by the way. Nigga your stunt money is blunt money. Haha). To be clear, I’ve no problem with ‘hepi’music. As DNA put it so well, mi ninashida zangu niskize zako kwa nini? But as he has grown up I think he has learnt that empathy can be a useful emotion, and listening might just teach you something. But ‘hepi’ music all the time? Give us a fucking break some times. In the US the same problem applies, the only musician under 40 whose head is not in ‘da club’is Jay Z. His closest challenger, Lil Wayne, seems more concerned with pussy than politics.

 Movie reviewers who actually tell you what happens in the movie. Wa. Anyway I guess it’s not your fault that your people didn’t take you to a real school. Or maybe it is. As the wahengas said, haina haja kuuza ngómbe kupeleka ngómbe ingine shule. Also, a while back in the Pulse ama that other magazine that is published by the Nation on Fridays (I never remember its name and I honestly don’t give a rat’s ass – marketing/branding fail right there dear Nation) I chanced across a review of super hero movies. Since I happen to like that shit, I deigned to read the article which was evidently written by a poorly educated retard. Kudos to the Nation for helping out the mentally challenged by giving them jobs. Some ignorant snot-nosed wanna-be reporter who has the temerity to insult Man of Steel yet it is certifiably the best Superman film ever made. Boss, you just discovered Clark Kent the other day. Others among us were raised on that shit, can break down the concept of the hero and the anti-hero like you can’t believe, can show you the real importance of what that story has meant to people worldwide. We’ve even written papers on that shit, complicated shit that you couldn’t think up even if you concentrated and studied for years shit. Million leagues above you kinda shit. Examine the notion of known unknowns and unknown unknowns juxtaposed upon the concept of yin and yang then your baby brain might actually just start to learn how to think. Shit.

Dear ladies and your dressing. Do you realise when guys are at the coast, they hardly ever look at those half naked tourists in skimpy bikinis? But wacha a curvaceous figure in a buibui passes by us niggas can’t take our eyes off her. There is a difference between trashy and sexy, stylish and tramp like. Showing more skin doesn’t help dear hood rat. Having the shortest skirt or hot pants possible doesn’t make you more attractive, dear ratchet bitch. So you dress like a prostitute and are surprised when people treat you like one. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but we do it anyway. You can judge it by its first few chapters though, and that’s what your clothing is. Dear ratchet, when I see you in the club I have neither the time nor the inclination to find out your back story, your career and education background, as well as the sob story and ‘tough things you’ve been through’ that make you who you are and thus give you the right to dress however you want and no one should judge you. Yes I will judge you based on how you have dressed and how you hold yourself. Yes you are not a whore, but you’re wearing a whore’s uniform.

 

Cheers, and have a great day!

P.S: The pictures below are self explanatory. After you view them, decide who among them is more valuable to our society and who is worth more as a human being than the others combined. And for the men viewing the pictures, um, er, you are welcome.

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(Another Song) All Over Again

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You’ve been alone
You’ve been afraid
I’ve been a fool in so many ways 
But I would change my life if you thought you might try to love me
So please give me another chance to write you another song and take back those things I’ve done
‘Cause I’ll give you my heart if you would let me start all over again

I’m not a saint
I’m just a man who had heaven and Earth in the palm of his hand
But I threw it away
So now I stand here today asking forgiveness
And if you could just please give me another chance to write you another song and take back those things I’ve done
‘Cause I’ll give you my heart if you would let me start all over again

Little girl, you’re all I’ve got 
Don’t you leave me standing here

Once again !!

‘Cause I’ll give you my life
Yes, I would, if you would let me try to let me love you
So please give me another chance to write you another song and take back those things I’ve done
‘Cause I’ll give you my heart if you would let me start all over again

…again
You know I love you
Give me one more chance…

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Set The Fire to The Third Bar

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I find the map and draw a straight line
Over rivers, farms, and state lines
The distance from ‘here’ to where you’d be
It’s only finger-lengths that I see

I touch the place where I’d find your face
My fingers in creases of distant dark places

I hang my coat up in the first bar
There is no peace that I’ve found so far
The laughter penetrates my silence
As drunken men find flaws in science

Their words mostly noises
Ghosts with just voices
Your words in my memory
Are like music to me

I’m miles from where you are
I lay down on the cold ground
And I pray that something picks me up
And sets me down in your warm arms

After I have traveled so far
We’d set the fire to the third bar
We’d share each other like an island
Until exhausted, close our eyelids
And dreaming, pick up from
The last place we left off
Your soft skin is weeping
A joy you can’t keep in…

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