Bernard Farai Matambo

Feasts for the Blind | My Dear Menshevik
June 12, 2014 Matambo Bernard Farai

Feasts for the Blind


That year it rained crows. Birds fell out of the sky in midflight. Their squawking made mother nervous. It gave her the chills and made her teeth chatter. She threw her eyes everywhere, and through the window caught the taut sky tightening. It had been dark for days. I watched her avidly and stabbed her with eyes full of questions. Don’t be an idiot about matters, she shot back, The earth too remains hungry. She was going blind, and her mind was beginning to sag. She walked into things and smiled with suffering. She stared into dark corners and hummed into them, for hours. She gathered nothing of the swelling whiff, but stood by the window and stared hard outside. The beauty of the birds tormented her. In the yellow moonlight they glowed with the threat of better things to come. I licked my lips and heard mother mumble inaudibles. She kept her gaze outside, watching the birds fatten, a sour breath gathering among them, a harvest of pus waiting in the wound.



My Dear Menshevik


We found for months afterwards, bright and brilliant corpses bloated on the roadsides. The rains had been heavy, the preceding winds unkind. Squads of famished children marauded the night door to door, searching for food, plucking away women. Why did the tide of our times turn against us, why did we doubt the flood in the beggar’s eyes? Later we lay for months beneath the shallow moonlight, the field vast and alive with barb-wired specifics – genitals and gouged eyes, purpled buttocks and limbs. It was by their genitals that men had been dragged, mothers hot-waxed. It was you who seized by the clasp the whiff of burning hair riding on the breeze.

Bernard Farai Matambo, born and raised in Zimbabwe, received his MFA from Brown University and is currently visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Oberlin College.  His poetry and fiction have appeared in PleiadesCincinnati Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, AGNI, Witness, and elsewhere. In 2013, he was the winner of the Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant for Young Writers, awarded by Ohioana.