"The Avocado" by Becky Sakellariou

"The Avocado" - Becky Sakellariou
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I ate one of the six avocados
you gave me last night
before you flew off to Johannesburg
and on to Zimbabwe, once more 
to be with your mum and dad.
I have never had six avocados 
sitting in my vegetable basket
all at one time.
They are very ripe, you warned me,
don’t wait long to eat them.
I squeezed half a lemon 
over the soft mushy slices,
a swizzle of my own olive oil
and some good black pepper. 
It was luscious, as Africa 
must be for you 
every time you step out
into its body heat,
its clotted light.
You will never understand
you tell me often, 
your eyes taking on a look 
I never see any other time.
You are not African born
and still, Africa coats your skin,
sleeps in your mouth 
under the grief of your song.
It’s funny, this business of exile
and homecoming, of journeys
and longing. It never stops.
Even when you finally get there.

 

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