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

Image of an orange cupped in a hand

May 2023 Poetry Feature: New Poems by Our Contributors

TIMOTHY DONNELLY
Thorn-blossom! Tender thing, prone to solitude / like yours truly, don’t get it twisted if I reach out my hand— / it isn’t to pluck you, who are my beacon down this path, but a gesture / of acknowledgment common among my kind. / When the lukewarm breezes nod off

Red Lanterns in Night Sky

On Wariness

MYRONN HARDY
There is rhythm on the pavement. / There is rhythm in small / apartment rooms. / I’m over slicing tomatoes. / I’m over drinking wine. / I’m performing as not to be / deformed     as not / to show what I shouldn’t. / I don’t want to feel everything.

Image of two blank canvases on a white wall

Nina and Frida Enter the Chat

FELICE BELLE
these biddies with their deadbolt backs/ take naps / while i construct/ canvas from corset cast / art does not wait until you are well / what they did not understand—the training was classical / chopin, motherfuckers/ carry on like she some backwater bluesy / least common denominator