Pen on paper in candlelight.
Words don't hide here,
Can't backspace, cut and paste, scuttle
Across a forgiving screen. Now:
Measurement, slow truths.
I feel in this as tender,
As sick with openness and possibleness,
As when your fingers call my soul up
To the surface of my skin,
As when I trail my tongue over you
To lap up the precious words
That pool in secret hollows. You increase my thirst.
It is only now, before the light, in the dark,
As your sinuous squid limbs entwine mine in distanced sleep,
That I wring out my tongue, to fill my pen
With the black ink you gave me. To know.
I can no longer hide here.
It will be you on the landline
In the times between
- Callmoretime or, as now, load-shedding in Linden -
Shedding here too -
Maybe all of Randburg -
I wish all of Johannesburg to be curled around a receiver -
Shedding skins, healing scars, in the moist darkness
Breathing in the scent of a lover's quiet voice.
Even as s/he grumbles gently. Your dinolythic laptop chokes
After 30 seconds without power.
- Pinaou, pos ise esi? - - I'm hungry, how are you? -
We climb into your language, cuddle in old words
- Nistazo me - - I'm tired (reflexive verb) -
that I learn and repeat repeat as if I might impossibly
Come to speak the words you want to hear, that you won't know
Until you hear
- Mia xara efxariato - - I'm great/ thank you/ (literally) 'my body's joy'... -
- Kali nixta - - Good night -
We both know the phrase you will not proffer,
I say it to myself, over and over, in
- tears, touch, movement, cum, kindness, fresh bread, preserved words -
In the languages I know
- I love you -
You gave me the phrase I need
- Kali ximeroma - - (literally) 'Good waking up' -
Shedding here, sweet illusions.
Thursday, 30 July 2015 20:51
Love-making in nights of load-sheddingBy Irene Bronner
Irene Bronner is reading for her PhD in art history. She practises and teaches ashtanga vinyasa yoga. She has previously published her poetry in Prufrock.