3 October 2019

The folding, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

—for T. Jess

Beside a ditch they swirl
in timelessness dreamed—
a healer, a griot, a wealth
of rained-out souls; a goat,
and wax that runs down
its taper. Ruddy with ochre
they are creation plunge-
dipped in mindless blood,
aligned as like fœtuses,
carried across the ocean.

Their plough-shares quarry
fields of papyrus browsers
glistening with a revolution
that started many years ago:
a child, killed on 5th avenue,
a gun, put next to the body—
why did all the lights leave?
All these voices are a litany.
For a million hundred years
we will sing along the banks
of the rivers of our boulevards.

Detroit, 1967

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