"We desire to be gods To conquer life, We build broken altars, Catch fire All in the name of love"

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article on how you should never ever date a poet because we’re all weirdos and nerds who like foreign movies with a three-person cast and bad lighting. A little after that, I wrote about how I had found love in a hopeless place (for context, the hopeless place is Zimbabwe). A knight in shining armour slew the dragon, climbed up the tower and was willing to brave all my artsy nonsense to be my beau. What I didn’t know was that I was reading from the Grimm Brothers version and the endings to those fairy tales were anything but happy. Inevitably, the relationship in question has come to an untimely end (untimely only because it should have not lasted so long, to begin with).

The responsible, adult thing to do is work on my healing and try putting myself back together again. I’d love nothing more . . . but I am not an heiress to a vast fortune and the lack of a trust fund renders me unable to afford therapy or hard drugs. As such, I am left with no choice except to write through the pain and profiteer off my heartbreak like a true step-daughter of capitalism (viva Bezos, please adopt me). I must warn you, beloved reader, if you are looking for closure or consolation, you will not find it here. At best, you may find a chuckle and a grammatical error or two because English is my third language.

My first thought upon being newly single was to drown myself in sad music but I was running out of data so YouTube was off the table (thanks for nothing Econet!). The reader must understand that heartbreak whilst poor is a different experience from the movies. Humphrey Bogart could just go to his bar and tell his personal piano man “Play it again, Sam” while sipping on something expensive. I’m out of groceries and only get paid next Tuesday so I can’t wallow in ice cream and there’s only so much freeze-dried coffee can do for a broken heart. A poor person must shelve their grief and schedule their emotional breakdowns for more convenient times. If the breakdown insists on coming before one’s pockets are padded enough to give it some sort of soft landing, the poor person must find other ways to cope. For me, it was either snort paracetamol or write 600 words (please don’t snort paracetamol, you will get me fired and possibly arrested).

Photo by Tangerine Newt on Unsplash

One thing that is hard for all people, I suppose, is to talk about lost love. If this was a fictional publication, I’d write something positive about my previous relationship. Or a poem about how I saw oceans in my ex-lover’s eyes. But it’s not, and their eyes were brown so that metaphor would not have worked. My former relationship just kind of sucked. I could describe it in a more eloquent manner but it wouldn’t be as honest. The long and short of it is I did my very best and, in the end, it didn’t really count for anything. I played when I should have folded and I lost. Very, very, sucky situation.

Life sucks and love isn’t real. I’m not saying so from a place of broken-heartedness; I don’t think anything is real, not even you and I so it doesn’t matter if love is the specific NFT we choose to treasure because we’re in the Matrix. Existing in a simulation isn’t all bad. If love doesn’t exist, and I don’t exist, then maybe we both sort of exist on a parallel plane in the mirror dimension and that is where love and I will find each other.

I suppose that this answers your question? I will keep running after love despite my current heartache. I should know better but I’m a silly, sappy poet and I do not learn. This is in no way meant to motivate you to do the same, it is so that you see just how ludicrous and futile it all is from my mistakes and spare yourself the pain. I will suffer Cupid’s arrows and bleed onto your screen for your entertainment while you nestle safely within yourself and love vicariously through me. I hope you will enjoy the show because I most probably will not.


Tinashe Tafirenyika
Tinashe Tafirenyika
With a belief that art is a catalyst for change, Tinashe Tafirenyika has disrupted the Zimbabwe Poetry Scene. In 2017 she became the first woman and youngest person to receive a National Arts Merit Award (NAMA) in Spoken Word Poetry in Zimbabwe. The same year she also received a Bulawayo Arts Award (BAA) for her poetry. In 2018 she became the only person to have won a NAMA twice in the Spoken Word Poetry category. She released her first poetry video, “Sarah Baartman” that year. When not stringing words together Tinashe practices as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in her home town, Bulawayo, where she is based.