Sarah Lubala



An Inheritance 


I don’t remember how it began
with water or without?
with trembling or without?
satisfied or fainting?

How might we measure it?
the dregs of a season
one white confetti bush
the salt on your hands
an armchair
honeyed in winter light

Did we sigh for the ease of it?
Did we think ourselves free?

As though our mothers are not ghosts
As though this language is not
a haunting  

There is a power in calling a thing by its proper name  

Not ‘infidelity’
Let us say
a history of disappearance
Let us say
men forget their names  

Not ‘a Black man hits his
Black wife’ Let us say
she is alone in a room
Let us say
she is a rose in bloom

What of your names?
he who came by water
and blood
bright edge of the knife
worn-knot of breath
bees in the throat



Sarah Lubala is a Congolese-born South African development worker currently working for an education NGO in Johannesburg. When she’s not at the office, she can be found in gardens drinking copious amounts of tea and reading Pablo Neruda’s love sonnets. Her poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming in Brittle Paper, The Missing Slate, A Women’s Thing and Prufrock.

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