Nairobi-Stained Understanding

 I.
I got lost there for awhile.
Lost in the way Peter showed me hello in habari.
Before I knew you could find hello in words you don’t speak.
They do that there,
Hello happens in the sparkle of their deep charcoal eyes and heart filled open hands.
So when you shake greetings, you take a little of their soul with you.
I read hello in the doorways of their mouths,
baked my heart to rise in their shanti rich streets,
and tattooed its lush diversity across my mind.
I unearthed my soul in the middle of lost.
Took tea and sipped down the dark black tea leaves of finding.
Learned some people are more found than others paid to and no one told them.
Learned sometimes learning is all you have to offer,
Broken cracked streets often carry full of life people,
and if you skip the humanity to stare at the poverty,
you’ll only ever miss the beautiful thing for the pile of dust.
II.
Hand opens soul.
They just leave it there,
caught in the newness of not knowing.
It starts in the uselessness of your hands,
So they fill them with memories.
Outpour fractured pieces, fragments
Spilling
Streak my clothes with red hues of hope and yellow loss.
Maybe, broken, what else could I do
Color the pages that I write on
Smear across the lips I use
Now I speak with pieces of your soul on my mouth.
They stain understanding on the words I use to describe you.
Your soul drips memories from my hand.
Like sand in an hourglass of lost things and found time
Each grain recollecting moments, feelings 
Borrowed drips happy
Always drips hunger
Each one tainted by nourished, stained with full
Simultaneously craved and had
Empty of food, filled in spirit
Each bloody hand a story to be told
If more than just your hands are willing to listen.

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