4chan / subreddits to connect the weird
ragged-faced, trying to connect the beard

fake news! — gave up trying to detect the bots
at awkward dinners trying to connect with Pops;

or at instameets, trying to connect with friends
yearning for mentors, trying to connect with men

or women — to set, then raise, the bar:
spa dates to reconcile, reconnect with Ma.

daily rag spins facts to protect the rats
Bus Station every day to connect the mats

salaries never connect—money is tight
hit up my friend for m-pesa, reconnect the lights

KRA collect the taxes: grossed out by your net?
yet when they read the budget, there’s a disconnect

praise and worship sessions to connect with Christ
prosperous preacher pegs salvation to tithe

such few connections in my network (have I burnt every bridge?)
hit up the connect to hook me up with a spliff

each failure, each rejection cuts like a knife:
looking for reasons to stay connected to life

lost in the world,
looking for home.

just trying to get by.
to not be alone.


*Photo by Uriel SC on Unsplash

Alvin Kathembe

Alvin Kathembe is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. His poetry has been featured in Dust Poetry Magazine, The Lumiere Review, Old Love Skin: Voices From Contemporary Africa, and other publications. He co-edited down river road’s third issue—Asphyxia. His short stories have been published in Jalada, Omenana, Brittlepaper and Equipoise, available on Kindle. Find him on Twitter @SofaPhilosopher.