Brother! – by Andrea Mbarushimana


They find each other in the street,
begin to laugh and snap their fingers,
panting memories of pitted dust.
I smile with them
as they converge with long strides.
Kisses dust cheeks,
contentment sighing through
louche, entangled limbs.

Foreign leaves fall towards them:
autumn confetti.
They turn away from me,
little fingers of opposing hands
twisted together.
One turns to whisper to the other.

They’re new, I guess.
Soon they’ll unlearn their language of tenderness:
the sparks between them will fizzle out
into self-consciousness,
and the cold and the concrete
will set hard around their souls.



A community worker, artist and writer, Andrea has been published in the London Magazine and Here Comes Everyone, and had her writing exhibited in the Herbert, Coventry Cathedral Chapel of Unity and in various libraries. Andrea is a regular spoken word performer at Fire and Dust in Coventry. Her Uncle once described her as ‘a real searcher’, which feels about right. More details here.

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