Always Forever

When love is lost and hope ends 

And the tragedy sends volts of pain from your heart to your brain, incapacitating you
That’s when you know your heart is broken. 

When the million words can’t bind the million pieces you can’t seem to find as your cardia erupted, volcanic regret like lava leaking down your soul till time leaves only ashes cocooned by loss

So the sun smites you not by day nor the moon by night because you retreat to inhabit a steel house made of four plane walls that will not be blown down by empty promises and false declarations of “Forever Love”
Too scared to let in the light that once led you to the lover who tore your world apart when you still believed in having a heart, In love, In hope… 

Trying to cope, hoping against all odds you’ll defeat the enemy battling for your soul, all the while wondering what profit it would be to give it all up and gain the world

After all, all that’s left is ashes

But from ashes to ashes, from dust to flames, like a Phoenix you rise again to laugh, to love, to cry,

And though you feel the ache inside, you hide the pain behind vodka and sex games, too ashamed you admit to yourself that you got played, so you master the game, enslaving yourself as the world becomes your playing ground and power becomes the aim 

you became a slave to your senses

All in a bid to avoid the pain of a broken heart. 

But back to the start 
To the one with the broken heart and the burnt out soul. 

To the one who almost lost their mind when the enemy stole the little hope in the heart that lit up the part of life that ever meant anything  

To the one step forward, three steps back 

Stepping on glass like stepping stones, wanting to feel pain

No! To feel!

Wanting to feel

alone knowing all along that it isn’t the “Forever Love” lost forever that causes the worst pain 

It’s the now in the “always forever” that never came.  

Forget me not

Time changes, things change, people change

As we all head off in our different directions,

I lay at your feet

My one, final, and only request…

Forget me not. 
Forget me not as you go along your way

As the places change and the strange faces become familiar. 

As the things we once did become history

And the life we once lived become a memory. 

Please forget me not. 
Forget me not as you go along your way

As the pressures of life begin to weigh heavy on your shoulders

And the things that brought you joy are far

And the time you have is well spent on surviving 

Please forget me not
Forget me not as you go along your way

And the distance shreds my heart, tearing us apart. 

Your face remains etched in my brain

As though the first thing I saw this morning

Please forget me not 
Forget me not as you go along your way 

And the healer called time cannot seem to mend my broken heart 

As you hold me in your arms all night 

Waking up to the bitter reality of your absence 

Please forget me not. 
Don’t forget the time we spent

The laughs we had

The love we shared. 

I know I can’t compare 

To what she is to you

But if what we had was ever true

Please forget me not… I beg of you. 

His Luxury Coupé

Drunk on my sorrow, High on my pain 

With So much to lose and Still nothing to gain

Yet I drown In the chaos I call my life 

Still believing the man Who practically destroyed my life
Who took a knife to my heart, daggered me with words

With songs of love, of the birds and the bees

I didn’t see beyond the signs, didn’t read between the lines

The truth written in plain ink, though he refused to sign
I made it my mission, made him my world

Between walks in the park and kisses in the dark

From gazing at the stars so late into the night 

He built castles in my head and a moat around my heart 

He locked me in a tower and promised I was his 

His good girl, he said, his special little girl

A friend he would never want to lose, he said

The one he wanted to be with, he said 

The one who made him happy, he said 

Yes, he said, no, he said, please, he said, I’m not letting you go, he said 
No, he said, yes, she said, why, he said, no, she said, yes, he said

Roles reversed, down in the sheets, the bed soaked wet, 

I bet you didn’t expect that, he said

No, she chuckled.

Did you like that? He said, yes, she said

But it hurt, she said… But she didn’t say, it hurt
It hurt like daggers pierced through her heart, 

Like acid poured on her soul

To know she had been used, and abused by the love of her life

To know she would never again feel complete

Never again feel whole

For she had given herself away

So someone who would never treasure here

Someone who would never love her
Someone whose heart was made of ice

Whose soul was carved from wood

Whose will was forged in steel

Who had used her to satisfy his raging desires

And held nothing but contempt for her now he was through. 
His luxury coupe, he called her

Now, the other girl, was her name

The face he once loved to hold, to kiss, to stroke,

He now looked at with hate and disdain

And then she asked herself, why go on?

Why go on living? She gave him her love, gave him her all

And now she’s nothing but an empty shell,
So she drinks up her sorrows, and rolls up her pain

She lights it with her future and watches it all burn

As she drowns herself in a pool of blood

Bleeding from her broken heart. 


Image retrieved from
As beads of blood bleeding red run down my arm, 

The arm of flesh has failed me once again

And once again I am left alone 

Alone with my thoughts, contemplating the complexities of a simple word… No. 

Knowing that the truth was all a lie, I lie here listening to the sound of my own hearts irrythemical beating as the blood it pumps pours out through emotional gashes across my left breast.

Gashes that only I can see and feel, invisible enough to conceal with a smile 

So I smile. Even when it hurts, see, I smile

Even when I can’t breathe, I smile

Even when my world is falling apart, I smile 

Even as the life drains from my body, I smile 

Because a simple smile conceals a large myriad of emotions which flood me, 

like the calm sea with its deadly undercurrents I am currently drowning in my own pain with no lifeline or rescue boat so I smile. 

Knowing that the only escape to my predicament is a permanent solution and though some may think it’s a temporary problem…

“… The sea is calm today…”

The sea is never calm

She just looks calm sometimes 

Her raging currents can wreck ships and drown men 

But she knows that as terrifying as she may be

People are always attracted to a smile. 

And so she smiles

Beckoning both the simpleton and the adventurer to come unto her

Welcoming them with open arms

Leading them to believe that the turmoil they once saw was a temporary problem…

But be not deceived 

Like the raging sea, I smile

And as I lie here staring at the beads of Blood like Crimson tears running down my arm

I realise that it would have been okay to cry sometimes 


Image by Kovacevich

You can’t hurt someone else when you’re on your own… so the best remedy for living without a heart is to live alone. Building walls high up and a gate made of steel to prevent anyone her body would appeal to from coming in, to hear the silent screams echo through the dark hallways of a lonely heart as she watches the mould growing and spreading, dreading the day she hears another voice say those three words, “I love you…” 

But she does…

Yet she doesn’t respond because she won’t be held responsible for bleeding hearts or broken bones that aren’t her own so she locks the door and throws away the key because that’s the only way she can say, “Leave me alone” politely. But he doesn’t seem to understand that lending a helping hand to her is proven by more than just an outstretched friendly hand… He doesn’t understand that the only way he will ever see the real her is to get through the gates of steel and, down on bended knee, tell her the story of how he got the master key from the One who made the lock… but until then, as she sits silently listening to the “tick-tock” from her biological clock, she screams in her silence as she grows addicted to a sadness that slowly caresses her heart, spreading through her veins and as the toxins begin to reach her brain… she’s dying… softly so she hides away the pain behind the smile she now maintains, behind lies about locked doors and lost keys… hoping that maybe, quickly, one day, someone will find the remedy to a broken heart.
Excerpt From: Okoye, Xyvah. “Zayin.” iBooks. 


Image by Danny Caramete

A locked door isn’t just a locked door; it’s another way of saying, “leave me alone.”

There’s a kind of sadness you can get addicted to.

The kind that slowly caresses your heart, spreading through your veins and killing you softly

It’s a good kind of bad feeling

More of an acquired taste, I’m told

It grows on your heart like a toxic mould bred from a life dampened with tears falling unto a pillow as silent screams echo through the dark, empty hallways of a lonely heart

It grows, spreads, breeds

Feeding on blood bled from the bleeding parts of broken hearts which no stitch from any surgeon or operation forgone proved successful

As gores soak up regret leaking from past mistakes… because a heart that breaks stays as broken as the words we speak stay spoken.


So as the days grow longer and the nights grow colder, the battle rages on as the heart grows old enough to retire but not serving long enough to receive a pension

She leaves bereft of attention, she remembers him making mention of a convenient way to love with a broken heart

So body young enough to fight for it but the heart too weak to nurture love, she abandoned the battle

Like a king without a crown, like a bride without a gown, she exits the ring… leaving an undeserved belt behind as he dealt the knockout punch shattering the glass cage which held the pieces of her broken heart, she realised she couldn’t find it in her heart to bear the title of a “wife” as she found she had no heart for him to find


The once empty cage, now shards as the shattered glass slices through her skin while she tries to search within for more than just memories coloured with blood and tainted with tears.

She searches for something she can’t find in a place that will only remind her that she failed, that her heart is a failure

That every cut and every bruise she was dealt was a well-deserved reward for a failing heart. That she was lucky her cardiac was not arrested for transgressing, and the death sentence was a just penalty…so she decides to stay at home.

You can’t hurt someone else when you’re on your own… so the best remedy for living without a heart is to live alone. Building walls high up and a gate made of steel to prevent anyone her body would appeal to from coming in, to hear the silent screams echo through the dark hallways of a lonely heart as she watches the mould growing and spreading, dreading the day she hears another voice say those three words, “I love you…”

Excerpt From: Okoye, Xyvah. “Zayin.” iBooks. 


A goldfish… a red herring… a black panther… a white lion…

Who said colour doesn’t matter?

Tell me it doesn’t matter when you stare out over a blue lake and can only see in black and white. Or when you look at a beautiful sunset and only see grey. Or maybe when you look at the traffic lights and they’re all a dull blue. Tell me colour doesn’t matter then. 

Don’t tell me that colour doesn’t matter when you’ve never been pushed around in the corridors because you’re black, or laughed at in class because you’re white. 

Don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. Tell it to that little girl who was beat with a clothes hanger just so they could watch her skin turn red, or when they stuck a comb in her hair and pulled on it to see how thick and curly it was. Tell her it didn’t matter when kids at school ostracised her because her skin tone was “too light to play in the sun”, or when she wasn’t in the school play because she was “too dark for the part”

Tell her colour didn’t matter when she couldn’t hang out with the black folk cos she’s “Oyinbo” and couldn’t chill with the white folk because she’s a “Nigga” and she had to eat her meals all alone or spend her free time buried under a pile of books. And she grew up not ever knowing where she fit in because her “colour” didn’t belong anywhere. Tell her it didn’t really matter when she spent her whole life searching for where she belonged and never found it, never truly fitted in because of the colour of her skin. Because she’s too tanned to be white and too pale to be black. Because her hair is too curly to be Caucasian and too straight to be Negro. Because she looks like both but doesn’t belong to any. 

Tell her it doesn’t matter when she’s known more by her colour and not by her name, carrying the stereotypes of both the black and the white woman while having the sympathy of none. Her struggles are multiplied and helping hands halved just because of the colour of her skin. To the white woman, she’s seen as a mistake and the the black woman, she’s seen as a threat and therefore never accepted by any because of the colour of her skin. 

Being black has always had its challenges, but we have a community which has our backs. And being white in a black mans community is never easy, but we have family, and systems tailored to our needs in order to help us cope. It’s all well an good when you’re one colour or the other, but when you’re a mixture of both you end up belonging to none. 

So the next time you look in the mirror and tell yourself that colour doesn’t matter, remember that it doesn’t matter to you because you actually have one, because you actually belong to a colour, to a race. Because you belong somewhere. Because no matter what I gain my identity from, be it achievement, possession or religion, I have to deal with people. People who all think I should act more black or be more white, or “suck it up like a black bitch” or “let it out like a white chick”. Who keep screwing with my head because I don’t praise black enough or I don’t pray white and I don’t study like a black girl but I don’t learn like a white girl and I don’t socialise like the black kids but I never party like white kids. And although I “dress like a white girl,” I “wear it like a black girl.” 

So I decided to carve out my own path, wear my hair and clothes my own way, study and learn my own way, eat what I like and cry if I want to, knowing that I’d never fit in because my real identity isn’t in the colour of my passport but in the colour of my skin and what that means to me and those around me. Because although I may be the lightest person in my church group, I’m still the darkest person in my study group and even though I may be the smartest of all my friends because I simply study more, it’s attributed to the colour of my skin cos apparently “white people always know that kind of stuff”. I decided, rather than fight my identity as an unidentifiable individual, I would embrace the hurt and the rejection that comes with not belonging. I would never again try to fit in, or be surprised by the difficulties I encounter because of the colour of my skin, and I would make it, whether the world liked it or not. 

And now, every time I wake up in a nice home, with a great life and great achievements, I look in the mirror and see that scared, lost little girl who never belonged, and I tell her “it’s okay honey, your colour never really mattered in the end. Look how far you’ve come, look who you’ve become. Look at the obstacles you’ve overcome. You’ve done so great, your colour never really mattered.” 

“No sweetie,” she would respond with tears in her little brown eyes, “it’s your colour that brought you this far, that made you become who you are today, that challenged you to overcome those obstacles. You’ve done so great because your colour really did matter. It really did.” 

Your colour does matter, but the difference it makes depends on what it means to you.