Praise Song For Kangozu Tonight I will be the thief of time.

Gentle one, gentle one
How could I have known
That time unfurls like this
That after summer
Winter comes and burns everything to crisp
In the years of milk upon my teeth
How could I have known, gentle one
The world was just beginning to take meaning

Gentle one
Sitting here in my bed
In the shadowy darkness of my rented apartment
I have become an alchemist
Pulling our moments from the briny waters of history,
Claiming back our moments in time

Gentle one, oh gentle one
If only they gave me a tip of your tail
To shoo the summer flies away
Or your sturdy legs for my wayward table
In the backroom
Where no visitors wander to
If only they gave me your hide
Your black hide of white and brown
For this blistering Midwestern blues

Gentle one
Tonight I will be a thief of time
Tonight you are here
Near a mound of Shepherds Trees’
Branches and twigs of our holy fire
Beating your long seductive lashes
As if to seduce, swinging your tail
Beating the giant flies to a pulp

Tonight I will be a thief of time
Tonight I am drawing you
From my imagination,
From the many scrolls in the library of the past

We are here
I am playing with you tail
I have snuggled in your broad ribs
I am pretending to ride you like a horse
I am licking your horns
I am plucking the ticks from your nether regions, I am—

Drawing you from the deep lake of lost things
Is like looking for the meaning of life, the lost jewel
In the cold and murky waters of a winter pond
Imagining you is a reminder of the stubbornness of time
Its refusal to turn backward

If I had known that time opens
Up the way it does
That all that remains is the perpetual light
And what remains to be seen
That our dances remain as a remembrance
As this poem
That the image of me sucking on your teat for milk
Has become like air
Amorphous, fleeing
Caught precipitously, frantically,
Lest time snatches it back in its devouring mouth

Gentle one
Will we meet again
In the next life, will you be bee
And I flower
In this universe of dice
Will there be a time where you will be me
And I you
So that I can let your human hand
Caress my forehead

The memory of us is a spell that starts life anew
The memory of us is a sadness that rises
and falls like ripples on the surface of a land locked sea

Tjizembua Tjikuzu is a writer and poet from Aminuis, Namibia. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He is an Adjunct Professor in English at Rutgers University and Rowan University in New Jersey.

Cover Image: Anand Thakur on Unsplash.