Belinda Zhawi

Belinda Zhawi is a Zimbabwean born writer & educator currently based in London. Belinda was the 2016/17 Institute of Contemporary Arts Associate Poet & she’s co-founder & host of, poetry social & press, BORN::FREE. Belinda is the author of Small Inheritances (ignitionpress, 2018)


Perched on the corner of a bending road, past the pub, past the side door, past dancing wisps of smoke - ganja for laughter, cigarettes for stained lungs    Past the outside walls, painted a deep colour that called to me like a dream of a place I had never been yet missed - always thick with nostalgia & longing   Past the dreaded uncles who never left the smoking area, past my problems & his or hers    Through the backdoor - past security, past the bar squeezed next to the crowded cloakroom, squeezing through bodies, smiling apologies, squeezing to the back  past the kick drum competing with drunken laughter, past the tall, short haired woman, in men’s dress, dancing with an invisible partner    


Inside that cocoon of both chaos & order, where the music pulsed with my blood, the road between my legs widened    The amount of times I fell in love with men whose names had been plucked out of holy books & liked to hide behind scripture    Of amber eyes, dark rings on both iris    Dark rings on both eyelid   Of jet hair, waved & cleanly sliced to define broad noses, high foreheads & lips made for kissing but also blackened by lies & years of tar    Of eyes that twinkled in I love you, you’re my soulmate   Of the persistence of a mosquito trapped inside a red light bulb    Oh, look at all these fine brothers  - with all their talents, all that beauty    Give me your smile, give me your eyes, come here - give me a kiss   With those blackened lips, help me forget the abandon I carry in the very pits of my belly   The man at the front cries a dark tunnel of displacement between a difficult past and an unknown future   into his horn   Sun rises on the revellers, cumulus fades painting a plain sky with cirrus like brushstrokes. When rain clouds gather they do not fall on one roof alone    All these shiny towers beside boarded up windows beside monochrome cafes beside another closed up venue where I loved and danced   When rain clouds gather they do not fall on one roof alone

Sun rises   cumulus fades painting a plain sky      with cirrus like brushstrokes   End of an era