25 May 2018

Love is love, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

When time arrives, and life's alive, after toil
has poured glycerine all over my black face,
I'm pocket-happier after weekend pay,
with braaivleis that gives incense as I wonder
what to do with thoughts that bloom in me
from love’s innocence. At night, when I walk
down Kingsway's line of men, smelling of soap,
the same blood that again and again pounds,
questions the hope of my name, because centuries
have loved us hardest, the moon-cool and
calm-eyed poise that claims the best in things.
Street lamps hang fuchsia heads and I hear
in that rhythm always man denying instinct,
I hear it in the church’s roar, inside its deep,
purple core; I hear in my head its little voice
asking me to stay away from others, but never
extinguishing this spark, this eagerness of body.
I hear it on mouths of folks on the way to and from
work, and on park benches at lunch when the sun
bears down on us with power, and we drink warm
water and laugh at worn jokes. And I hear it
on my own lips too often when, for a moment,
he touches my body, the time everything needs
to take, for me to become myself once again.

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