From Malikhanye

By MXOLISI NYEZWA

 

for my son malikhanye liyema nyezwa
who died on 2 august 2007 aged 3 months

how do i say this, that once your eyes were like topaz
and your heart clean as jasmine
in the dense forests i follow the black traces of your lashes
in the empty memory of lost time
my feet tumble against cold hope

you who have cast the first stone
and robbed my blithe existence of its foliage
i walk bearing like death
the heavy punch of your eyes
the eyelashes of your smile.

***

if only i could go just now and not hesitate
i would be near the crystalline beauty of your hair
this afternoon my heart is yearning like an ocean rock
the seed swells its warm raptures like the morning
and the oceans too deep and treacherous to sail.

***

maybe it is not me they are looking for
those who wanted much more than this obedient earth can give
i brought this pain with me when i came to this township
dragging the copper moon
and the extravagant posture of loneliness
on two wings

malikhanye, you were once the slowness of the earth
until the volcano erupted and made all mystic things more natural
the republican faces who couldn’t recognize the texture of your hair
everything was dead until you came and lifted our sun.

 

 

Mxolisi Nyezwa is founder and editor of Kotaz, now in its fourteenth year.

Click here to purchase Issue 04

From Malikhanye

Related Posts

Brazilian Poets in Translation

ELIANE MARQUES
Don’t carry large umbrellas (neither at night nor during the day) / They might seem to be an AR-15 rifle or an HK submachine gun / Don’t use drills / They can be confused with a pistol and the bullets being fired / Don’t carry bags / They can suggest that you’re carrying a bomb

poetry feature image

October 2020 Poetry Feature: JinJin Xu

JINJIN XU
And another alights on the sidewalk, / another alights, I step around their outlines / into our next life - om mani padme hum / you emerge from the red dawn to shake open my life, / upside down, flying dust, you unlock / the red cell, cameras light up one by one

Dive

JENNIFER PERRINE
We parked and followed the unlit path, / Hansels and Gretels flocking, hungry, / to our gingerbread shack, sweets hidden / behind a plain façade, unmarked save / for a rainbow draped over the door.