First

I am twelve, or thirteen,
and we’re hiding behind your house.
It is five o’clock, and we’ve only minutes before your mum
begins to yell for you down the street.
I close my eyes, and do it
just like I saw on TV.
After a while, you pull back,
grimace,
and run your sleeve across your face—

‘How’d I do?’ I ask,
just before you race off.
‘Like Nic Cage,’ you say, laughing,
‘the way you tried to take my face off!’


Alvin Kathembe is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. His poetry has been featured in Dust Poetry Magazine, The Short Story Foundation Journal, Poetry Potion and other publications. His short stories have been published in Omenana, Brittlepaper and Digital Bedbugs, available on Kindle. Find him on Twitter @SofaPhilosopher

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