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.

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Next Year I Want to Run the Comrades Marathon

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