Blisters

Cut out on my feet –
cigarette burn rounds–
from city streets
that used to greet me
with imitation fireflies
and flights of fancy –
dizzying and glorious.
Now cracking and porous
my heels no longer
enough to support
–me –

Lo, lost, in this city
I knew –
So well –
It’s a hell

from the second you left
familiar became terror
and all I could want
is to escape –
walk away searing
in the heat –
I burn my feet
on the streets
that used to love me.

Absence

I strip inconsequentially,
hiding myself in insomnia midnight.
Your eyes aren’t here to see me.
My body’s outline
isn’t traced by your fingers,
it’s met by a queen sized bed
and cheap linens that drape
like disappointment.

Dreams of you.
Perhaps the consequence
of your disappearance,
fleeting and wonderful,
the morning light
will open my eyes
only for disoriented dust motes
and silence.

Fallen God

He lives in my mind
in a very strange place,
a sacred space,
that I first desecrated.
Where I got on my knees
and worshipped,
screamed to gods,
bloody heart on altar.
Now he’s free, far away.
Ganymede in zenith
immortalised, cold stars.
Ancient Greece
in the present day.
Please, don’t let them in
to take your treasures.
They’re shooting-tourists,
don’t know you
like I think I do.
Maybe you’re fantasy,
a myth to me,
a collapsed colossus.
In slavery I built,
whipped and chained,
that never happened.
You’re ruined now,
in ruins laid down,
so they prey on you
where I once prayed.

Empty flags and flowers.

I stand on ground cracked with divided opinion.
My flesh pale on the earth,
my tongue doesn’t carry this place’s many words.
Only my own lost unfurling.

Outsiders see the wild.
I see the jungle of the city
that wants to eat me
for being outsider inside it,

I’m not forgiven not forgotten.
There is history here,
under my feet are paths I didn’t walk.
But I’ve been lead on them,
heavy under them.

I don’t belong, even if I say
myself as African
in a tongue I don’t speak,

African Afrikan Afrikaans.
Betrayer, I don’t know,
I wrap myself in reds whites blues
of lands I no longer belong to.
Lands in my blood, not under my feet.

My gods are in Hollywood’s hills,
your gods stolen by Picasso,
and in London’s towers,
where they keep your jewels
that they stole too.
The missionaries gave Africa
a new god, but he’s not mine.
So I’m further lost.

Raise me up, I’ve shot
out of this ground from
from foreign blood.
Purple blossomed, alien and admired,
loved and hated.
My people have drained the land,
we’ve Dug our roots new,
stolen the richness in the soil.
I’m a new blossom on this tree
blown off and wandering suburbs.

I stand one leg in Africa, one in Europe,
so they say my penis dangles in salt spray
and so we are all made bitter.

Who is Africa? I don’t think it’s me,
If it isn’t, then on this ground
I fly empty flags, I fly
an empty petal in suburbia.