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By HAIDEE KRUGER

I keep my tools
hidden,
until the sun rasps
its black breath over
the suburbs. Only then

do I edge from
my demure murmuring disguise,
carrying my pen like
an axe,
waiting in the underbrush for
the first bloodwarm faces
to appear. I like

to slaughter the meat out
of them, to space
their soft stomachs across
the page, to stretch
their sinews into
stems and curves,

or else
to pull their wet skins tight,
nailing them down around
the white silences
squirming. I never
wash my hands

after—the whimpers dry
to innocent ink under
my nails. And besides,

I keep my tools
hidden.

 

 

Haidee Kruger is a senior lecturer in translation at the North-West University in South Africa. Her debut collection of poetry, Lush: Poems for Four Voices, was published in 2007.

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