• Sadness breaks the hands, the chest, and the mouth

  • I am weary of the ways of the world

  • and the girl-the inheritance-a compass in disagreements.

  • i don’t know…i don’t know

  • the way that the knee turns-kicked backwards away from its born bend, this sadness hurts like that,

  • pities itself

  • there is a quarrel in the bone, a going on in the blood and it will not kill me.

  • elephants can die from a broken heart,

  • i cannot kill me, and how quickly the breath would snap if i tied my neck to the tree outside my window.

  • My mother tells me that the daughter of a woman she used to know passed away in her sleep. She says, ‘a young girl of 32. Thats so bad. Her daughter found her and called the neighbours. She said her mother was asleep and wouldn’t wake up.’

  • ‘That’s so bad’

  • bad like, we have never understood the viciousness in God, we do not understand all the years of watching. bad because we have not found a wind that carries the body back to the hair. bad like thank God that has not happened to me ‘It would kill me’ my mother says.

  • fill the gas cylinder

  • everybody always talking about peace

  • drive. shut the windows. open the cylinder. sleep.

  • The body is an echo. But when you carry it along, youd find that only getting in the way. They say you gotta let it go.

  • but an injury in the soul or the mind is suffered by the body too.

  • the body is the witness and the show, performs the wound, answers the wound by laying down, by drinking itself to sleep.

  • my body will not get up.

  • i sing its sadness-the self-pity and the rise, say:

           fall in your ways, so you can’t crumble

           fall in your ways, so you can sleep at night

          fall in your ways, so you can wake up and rise

  •  my mind will not get up

  • there is a story that my mother tells again and again. It makes me laugh and think that i have known for a long time how to drop myself, to pity myself, give the abandonment that i feel proof and body. It also confirms in the way a signboard would that i am restless in the right place when i question the sadness and search the stones, slight and full, in the throat of air that gathers in my talk sometimes.

  • i am gasps on the route, the map, the double I don’t know

  • I tried to change it with my hair

  • but my soul will not get up;

  • it belongs to the body, the black, the hand with two palms- one for holding and the other for hurting.

  • I’m fine, I’m okay, I’m alright. (…that just made me even sadder)

  • a hole:

  • is an adornment or a wound or the wreath placed on the wound.

  • it is the story placed on the wound and the stories that people you love remember about you and tell, that improve your map. They help you plot the journey of your spirit,

  • the sadness that was there and here is here again; the defiance over here and there; the joy of that way and this day;

  • i have a scar on my chin that has been on my face as long as I have known how to count my mouth and its reputation; but I cannot remember how I earned it. I must trust my brother when he says you fell as you were running and there was blood and crying.

  • I must trust my fear of falling, besides

  • This is home

       This is where we from

       This is where we belong

  • looking at you and looking away. mother is telling with her arms folded onto her chest only to be freed if she wants to make the object in her story with her body. She laughs curiously at her own strength, and the spirit in me. What used to be mine.

  • The story is: sometimes my mother would come home to Kagiso from Carletonville on a taxi. Once she came home with my twin sister and I, I knew how to walk but my sister had not yet learnt; when we reached our stop she built her way off the taxi. she put me on my walking feet and picked my sister up and then strung her handbag over her shoulder. Before she closed the taxi door, I, seeing that my sister was in her arms and I was on the ground walking, threw myself onto the ground and demanded to be picked up. A taxi full of people laughed and she built herself again, put her handbag on her back like a back pack, carried one on her left and another on her right.

  • memory is equipment

  • Mother shifts to mime the load and the bent back and reminds me that I was a heavy child. She mimes strength-the choice she has made for her life.

  • ‘It won’t help me. If I cried about your father, the dementia is only going to get worse. I must be strong for myself to take care of him. ngoku ma’ndingahleki?’

  • Ngoku ma’ndingahelki: lets go look for magic, Yeah

  • the little girl in the story is tired or the little girl is jealous, feels hollow where hands should be.

  • the work is bitter: i am the girl. i am wasteful; my talents are unreliable. But I got so much y’all. i have spent months hesitating. The judgements claim me, lonely, hopeless, lazy:

  • You want to be the teacher

        Don’t want to go to school

       Dont want to do the dishes

       Just want to eat the food  

  • i do not know what to chase, to wrangle and make straight first. i want to be held, to be helped, i want more to be left alone to give this darkness to my body

  • unless i can make it beautiful, make it sing, make it look like a mirror-a stranger. To heat and make out of the things of you that are dark a shimmer, is to keep yourself a stranger to everyone and yourself.

  • You gotta rehab (heal) yourself                                         

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