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

Related Posts

sunset and forest trees

Hummingbird Tantra

CORRIE WILLIAMSON
Red draws their tiny eye, and every hummingbird / feeder you can buy blooms a plastic, stoic / ruby, effigy of flower, tadasana of red. Already / they have eaten me out of sugar, but forgetful today / I’ve left the sliding porch door wide, and on my couch / a cheery wool blanket...

Headshot of J.D.

Side Mirror

J.D. SCRIMGEOUR
You’re floundering in flashes of light and dark, / so after a few minutes you scoot inside / because January’s cold, and ask your wife for help, / embarrassed you can’t do even this simple task. / She peers over her glasses, studies the tape, / then returns it unstuck, separated...

image of lynn thompson

A Rage on Berbice, 1763

LYNNE THOMPSON
Before I was north and south of a new country / I was divided from    I was a tactic      I was / a slave-trading port / Before I was remade as Amerindian / I was sugar as the main crop / Before I was overworked and underfed / I was selected for immediate punishment