How To Cry

I’m going to fold, as an overloaded trestle folds, 

in the middle of Romford Market and bawl 

the way my small niece bawls for her mother 

when she leaves the room. In spite 

of our assurances, already the little one knows 

that those who leave might never come back. 


Though I keep God in a small closed box 

I’ll prostrate myself outside Argos, 

beat the cobbles with my palm 

till blood rings in my fingertips. There, amid 

cockneys selling fist, box-fresh from Billingsgate, 

tears will occur to eyes I thought I’d cried out. 


I want to be set off by our red brick uni, 

its array of strange faces. Show me round 

the flat that stinks of our sleeplessness, 

plans hatched in the whispers of small hours. 

I’m tired of this strength. Let me be bereft, 

watching the white limousine as it drives away. 

from Kumukanda (Chatto & Windus, 2017), © Kayo Chingonyi 2017, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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