The End of a Love Affair

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo
Photo by Jerry Riley

“Suspend Me / The End of a Love Affair”
Music – Wambura Mitaru 
Spoken Vocal – Ngwatilo Mawiyoo
Backing Vocal – Sara Mitaru
Produced/Arranged by David “Blackman” Muthami

From the album Introducing Ngwatilo, © 2011. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


When you are past the fuzzies, past speaking 
each night – calling at dawn, past conjoining 
your life to his by palm and cell phone;

When the memory of you two together, 
after it’s over, protects you from others 
who would block out the sound of your skin

– the small of your back, even – aching 
to be alone, pores breathing air at last, grateful 
while the shadow of him fades;

Silence will be yours to find yourself again,
the one you loved so fiercely before – 
to whom you must eventually be faithful,
the one who will not accept shiny stones and flowers – 
the notebooks and vocabulary you collected, scraps 
to prove you learnt something useful on the way.

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo’s new research explores the homes and lives of families in rural Kenya. She plans to release a book of poems on the subject in 2012, to follow her critically acclaimed first collection, Blue Mothertongue (2010), which explored similar ideas as they manifest in Nairobi and the African diaspora. In performance she often collaborates with musicians and other artists; exploring their potential to “tell” poetry in an aesthetic she dubs “Puesic” [pew-zik].