Next Year I Want to Run the Comrades Marathon

By VONANI BILA

(after discovering that I weigh 90 kilograms before the age of 40)

chubbiness is weighing me down
like a tree that can’t carry its branches anymore
i don’t want to be brushed aside
so easily by the wind of love
like rugged absentminded sweating men
with bellies of pap, tripe & beer

i want to run, crawl & finish the race
like bouga luv the kwaito champ
i may suffer muscle cramps
grow blisters & warts on feet
huff & puff like a dog
but i fear to collapse on my paper-filled table
with pen in hand
tales wedged in my head

i want to run & jump like a springbok
return home with a six-pack
muscular & glistening
illumine the fires of joy in the kitchen of love
before this glowing bare-skin hunky neighbour
invades my nest
come rain or sunshine
i’m buying the sneakers, tummy belt & tight shorts
bound to jog through the valleys, alleys
& over the hills & bushes of umgungundlovu & egagasini
come rain or sunshine
i’ll no longer poison my bowels with chips, coke, candy, hotdogs & burgers
for i want to leap like a tiger towards bedside
thirsting for her
naked in silky wear
& splash her body
with running, living water

 

 

Vonani Bila is founder and editor of the poetry journal Timbila and directs the Timbila Poetry Project in Limpopo Province.

Click here to purchase Issue 04

Next Year I Want to Run the Comrades Marathon

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