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Blood-beat by Salimah Valiani

Salimah Valiani | Feb 11th, 2021 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

it started
in his scrotum
scratch of a note
his blood-beat
picked up a pace
1 not 2

the note
fused with rhyme
a couplet in his bowels
not foul
but present
heavy
like a hollow silver pheasant

with the rhyme
he couldn’t reason
it wanted to gush out
he pressed it further in
his blood-beat picked-up two paces
2 not 1

the couplet multiplied itself into
verse occupying his chest
and up his neck grew long
eyes turned pink
from a pacing blood-beat
it was killing him softly
the song

he was a musician
of single tone
voice like snow
blood-beat beating
but only below
he sang the stage
but never his song
a harmony so sure
doesn’t last so long

his belly burst
neck unstretched
chest cleared
eyes clarified
bowels and scrotum eased

but the song remained unsung

his voice was gone
his double time blood-beat
had blown the drum

Poet Bio

Salimah Valiani is a poet, an activist and a researcher. She has published four poetry collections and most recently, Dear South Africa, a poem-story that was selected by Praxis Magazine as part of its 2019-2020 online chapbook series.

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