29 October 2019

Anniversary, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

I told my wife we were nothing to this world,
had worked for years in the cotton industry, spinning yarn
being weakened there, flushed with wine,
we had to have kids, raise a family, build a home.
Everyone was doing it.
The more children we had the more our old days
would be easier, once our weekend came
with its age of purple gums and stale livers.
They will take care of us then, protect us
like a house protects a home, a birthplace, a name.
But in the end we had none at all and finished our days
in the town sweatshops of Ha-Thetsane
with foreign bosses who pink-slipped us
a month before our anniversary.
We decided to take pills that day, after agreeing
we were already dead and might as well get high,
to contrast the level at which we had lived our lives;
and in one night of amphetamines mixed
with my wife’s zolpidem, crushed into angel dust,
we rose on the wings of death and rose and rose.

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