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Moses Serubiri


Country: Uganda



Biography:

Born in 1989, Moses Serubiri took to writing poems while in high school, for the AIDS Club. His poems and prose were first published in the Kibuli Secondary School Magazine in 2005. More recently his poem 'I Remember' was selected for the Hay Poetry Festival's Shortlist. He is a poet, photographer and pianist currently living in Kampala, Uganda.

Related Podcasts & Events:

Falling in August

People from wherever they have come conjugate the area, as he has hung himself by rope. They find him dangling from the roof like Michelangelo painting The Last Judgment on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel in Rome in 1510. Those years before hanging himself are reflections of a gray surface he was trying to obey. All he wants to do is obey. All he wants to say is goodbye.

It is the 12th of August. The rains fall heavy, and the ground soaks wet. There is mud everywhere, and those who are anxious are planting maize, and flowers, and by now the earth has waited so long in thirst, there are cracks along it's lips that are now sipping in the falling rain. Something else falls too.

The grasshoppers are falling. They are falling all night, and they are still all day long. In the damp corners of the wall they hide all day, praying. More grasshoppers fall, and they are changing color. At first they were green, and now they are tinting red. Why are they so angry? The girls ask. This is what they do in August. The girls wait for the grasshoppers to fall. Green ones don't bite. Brown ones are all friendly, and the reddish ones are the favorites.

The red ones bite. So they are the ones we should pet. The girls remove the hind legs and pet the grasshopper's wings. It can't fly now, except if it found a way of jumping off a table's edge. Which is unlikely because her magnified eyes are watching the red one's every move. It was here in this reddish moment that he hung himself. It was raining, and there was mud everywhere. The news came through the wire, and from all over the people came.

Inside, he dangles from the roof. He is taken down like an art piece of the early 20th century. He is a sack of meat, gone cold and stiff. There is a gray everywhere in the room, but this moment is too complicated for them to comprehend...

God is one. There is only one God and Mohammed is his messenger. God is one. There is only one God whose prophet is Mohammed, the beloved. There is one God. They are chanting at the burial grounds. On this particular occasion there has been an intermission. Not only are the red ones falling, he has committed suicide and must be canned.

The corpse is laid on a flat bed. The bamboo is raised in the air, and the Ancestor holding his breath, shouts, and one through twenty. It lands on the dead buttocks and vibrates on the lifeless cheeks of suicide. They are canning him because he must be canned. After all, his chastened body will not feel a thing. We will not pray for him.

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