Smoking unrefined marijuana in dry candle scented newspapers, the dialogue is in suspended parts like the light bobbing up and down your balaclava head
every time the fire finds a new spot on the fig to burn.
There is no monarchy here, but I have watched you remoisten the straws
the bedding and sometimes you sleep outside with the sheep.
The moon; a pulsating freedom comes through what was supposed to be a door leaving at its own accord a yearning within me to follow
those silver singing night beetles: nature’s own little impromptu that might as well be another body’s occult on my skin.
The stories you tell me are now fleeing acousma, when I hold my ears against the screen, visualize the sky as a deep empty veld, a low iridescent portrait hanging over my head and border patrol gunmen hiding their faces under searchlights.
Forty different men burning in the afternoon safari carrying barter to the Free State at night. I yearn for longer conversations you now deny me,
reciting the constitution, everything we must forget,
everything we must leave behind.
I walk into this new land naked, afraid of only secret
things I read from what I can find about myself.
In a friendly duel left by every midnight, the silence now coming back,
the mountains pulling back – I imagine this is how a new ridge must grow.
I want a keg of new gunpowder and my man in the next town.
I want a fresh body lying on your family ash-pit, fresh blood.
I want to wake up to the wailing of new mothers preparing early morning fire.
Tumello Motabola is from Lesotho. He is Shortlisted for the 8th 3k Brunel International African poetry prize. He writes in themes about about memory and history of the Southern Africa.