It is the mosaic scene on the ceiling
that helps you bare the line. & then you
notice a single colored body building a
nation amongst a hard-hat army of white.
You recall receiving news of a relative that
made it elsewhere, via waves, on a vessel too
small to hold its burden. You imagine some
ancestor must have made it here, via waves,
to build a nation not their own. But you didn’t
make it here with the trauma of a journey. Your
journey was via wings, belongings strapped on a
shoulder & rolled on four wheels. & after an officer
inspects your passport & your body, his phone call
escorts you to a separate room, while the mosaic
scene observes the episode from the ceiling above.
––For Herbert Marcuse
Contesting what is
Envisioning what could be.
And then there is the question:
Where do you feel more at home at,
South Africa or the United States?
As if this really was a choice like
sex or love on a first date,
death or suicide on a battlefield
Pepsi or Coke on a summer day.
The mornings after Orlando,
Sterling & Castile
I had the options of escaping
into Masekela’s Thimela or
submitting myself to grief & despair.
I chose a third option:
wandering on a wind swept beach,
sand stinging my un-sieved eyes.
I am used to indecision.
Just as I am that question of home
that leaves me awaiting a
sense of residence somewhere…anywhere.
The following piece is an edited version of my contribution to a collaborative effort called Poets for Peace on the blog ForgottenMeadows. To learn more and to contribute to the fabulous initiative, visit forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com.
Is a river
Rage a wave
You & I forge
Solace in the
The swaying dance of
Stone parishes chanting
Vespers & intonations.
Together we dwell in &
Out of time
A present exit, so to speak,
From reverberating blasts
On breaking news abroad &
Popping clips & sirens nearby
Our space is collected
In the union of
Where we hold close,
At least for now,
In growing pains of