Skip to content
Home » Poetry » Issue 2 » Tasting heaven

Tasting heaven

When Gogo hands me fifty cents for crumbs
I run to the shops, dust bathing barefooted
fast as my ashy legs can go,
        dodging drunkards staggering from kwaDakudzwa,
        hopping over streams and puddles of septic water,
            snubbing the cat callers’ clamour:
            Chidhafu dhunda! Chichanetsa pachinokura!
It is time for Jonas, and
        Epworth’s hub is buzzing with novel progeny
        on temporary pass from filial fuss;
            the momentary abundance ups the frequency of nonagenarians
            squatting over pit latrines when sickness is as rare as death.
Behind the big shops: kwaChiremba, kwaSolani, kwaMtandwa
where we buy Lobels and London delivered hot at daybreak
        before we’re off to play nhodo, pada, nhanzva
        next to God’s feet at Domboramwari,
or to barter trade snot for good measure
behind the Balancing Rocks,
a small pop-up shop sells savoury pastry breakages
in cone-shaped newspapers drenched in Olivine oil: Kuma crumbs!
Sometimes I wolf them down whole with only my saliva
Sometimes I have extra five cents for a penny-cool to wash them down.
Sometimes I sit outside with the penny-cool vendors to watch the denizens
        whilst savouring the crumbs,
        peeling each flake of pastry to discover knick-knacks veiled in its folds:
            ishwa, nhunzi, mapete.
It’s a lucky dip still and all, so
I flick out the whatnots and relish the freedom
        —to just be.

*time for Jonas/nguva ye Jonas – bonus time

Also by this poet: