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.