Kuyasa / by Jahan Sharif


I notice a flower petal, pinked by the hour, slipping through the soft weight of the morning air, coming gently to rest on a bedewed blade of grass near the side of the road. The grass flexes, adjusting to this new weight. A car passes, and the flower flits off like a butterfly. The blade twitches straight, then stills.

At this hour, the sun has just begun to rise, heaving its coiled charge of possibility over the horizon, and signaling with those first few photons that what has not yet come, will soon arrive. I learned a Xhosa word from a shopkeeper in South Africa a few years ago that describes this time of day: Kuyasa-- it is the light before the dawn.

“Pay attention.” She said, “The day is coming.”

(Happy 6 months of Jaja!)

Los Angeles, California
August 2019