So many lives spent rushing
before rolling thunder
in an attempt to write it down,
until this place, where I delay
making even that first dot,
simply because
there is more delight in living
than in telling truth.

So I peeled an orange
in the last patch of sun
on the balcony
and forgot entirely
what I meant to say.

Perhaps I was supposed to sing
about three hundred dolphin
and what it is to swim with them
in crystal water and how I shared
my love, and how they laughed
and slapped their tails
on the glass surface
and filled the whole sea
with sonic resonance
so that I could be sure
they already knew.

Or maybe it was the story
of Phila Ndwandwe,
who simply would not talk,
and how the deep blue reminds
me of that plastic bag which watches
over our constitution, still crying
in the wake of her killer's testimony:
"God . . . she was brave."

They all fit together:
the orange sun,
the dolphin's clarity,
blue death
and plastic bravery,
though I won't scratch it out
this time.

This time I'll just ask,
won't you come in?
Ma has baked fresh date muffins
and I'm about to make some tea.


  • Abdullah - i.e. "slave of God"