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Home » Poetry » Issue 3 » For what?

For what?

In the week of November 2017
We were gods,
Watchful judges offering a saviour,
Strong in Herculean strength –
Swift like Mzilikazi fleeing from Shaka,
Tight, like rope on Nehanda’s neck, in knots,
hungry for death because hope was red in our blood, pulsating,
Bleeding beyond where the tongue touched the oesophagus and the voice cried out,
Freedom close, holding our hands,
Whispering like an illicit lover before dawn –
Out for jobs, for a nine to five
For a casual Friday,
for more,
For more than degrees that meant nothing but the table-talk of vendors on city streets,
Empty like concessions signed over misrepresented interpretations,
And we marched –
            For what?

In the week of November 2022
We are heathens,
Treasonous bastards raising our hands
to the arms of our colonial exes,
catching airplanes to anywhere,
Just not here,
Here – is failing hustles in the street,
Friday is a circus show,
Flounderings of another failed working week,
The knots on our necks are tight,
Coiled like the Bantu in coarse hair,
Tight like suicide rates of men,
suffocating in the arms of an adulterous lover,
regurgitating saliva of a lover’s other,
Tight like bonds of stagnating hope,
Vagabond soilings framing our looks,
Whispered promises withering in the sun,
Hope slowly disintegrating to fine lines on
skin, wrinkles writing testaments of failure,
Grapplings of what should have been
strangling out breaths of life,
We are dying –
            For what?