Invisible Love: Capes

The idea behind this series was to curate stories and pieces that reclaim the love that isn’t always visible. The love that makes us question what defines heartbreak, what defines a connection, how we learn and unlearn, how we teach and feel love. These questions are brought to the surface through this collection of visual works, poetry and text created by women who’ve beautifully visualized all the love you can’t visibilize.

by Elizabeth Mudenyo

I was 12 and in love with the summer

In the evening

just laying out on the lawn

falling asleep

waking up to a world changed

It felt like five minutes before

the night fell to pitch black

I kept falling in love with everything

that was the problem

The grass sticking onto the back of my thighs

The sun’s red glow on the back of my eyes

Hugging my brother’s back,

falling into the cave of his spine

smothering my face

risking a little discomfort,

I was a constant lover.

Once I asked him if I could borrow his cape

his red plaid shirt

“Its too big”, he said

and I asked again

“its too big for you”, he promised.

And I thought I knew what he meant

about powers being a lot to carry

magic being difficult to have

so when finally

I borrowed his cape

he rolled up the sleeves

and on me it only worked when I ran

when the wind picked it up

and it went flying

I ran fast fast

and felt my heart racing

I knew it was the magic working

I waited for him to wake me up in the morning

to cook us meals

to speak first

to reply to my questions

I waited for him to say yes

to remind me that the fact that I was there was a good thing

a TV screen reflected in his eyes

so he couldn’t see mine

he said he couldn’t describe it

because he couldn’t see it

(it was inside of him)

and that he couldn’t feel it

because it was a lack of feeling

“I think my guts have spoiled

I think at my very core I’m rotting

that the stuff that made me is no good anymore”

he said ‘before,

it was a beast

a monster


howling with distress

deep inside his stomach

into a pit of emptiness’

that’s why

it came as no surprise

that with an aurora of magic around him

and empty insides

he disappeared into thin air

Still I recall

the cape in the wind

and how I loved him


Image by Purvis Kwagala

Elizabeth Mudenyo is a Toronto-based poet, screenwriter, and arts manager. Her work centers Blackness at the intersections of mental health, gender, and sexuality. Observing the magic in the every day, she aims to transform spaces and bring together communities through art. She was a fellow of the Poetry Foundation’s 2018 Poetry Incubator and is one of the writer featured in the recent Black Like We (2019) anthology. Elizabeth supports platforms for BIPOC voices through her all work and is always collecting her tools.