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Glimlag

Jou lag
Weef ‘n lied
Deur jou liggam.

Jou glimlag
Skryf ‘n gedig
Op jou gesig.

Jou trane
Teken ‘n toekoms
Op jou wange.

Jou hart
Klop ‘n ritme
Van verlange.

Silwer seisoen

Jy was ‘n silwer seisoen
Versier met groen verassings
Ek was natuur se weduwee
Winter-kaal en kleurloos.

Jy kon duidelik sien
My siel was was vas betrap
In ‘n gebreekte grafsteen.

En ek het niks geweet
Van roomys drome, wilger bome
Of die heiligheid van somer reën.

Ek sal nooit vergeet
Hoe, in die sterlig
Jy my naam verander het
Na ‘n gedig.

En in jou vrugbare voetspore
Was ek van voor af gebore
Terwyl jy, in die sonsopkoms van my toekoms
Vir my ‘n sandkasteel bou.

Ek dra jou soos ‘n sonsak om my skouers

Droog en skaamteloos soos ‘n woestyn
Het ek geraamteloos verdwyn
Agter jou albaster oë.

Ek kon sien
Waar die holte en die oorloop
Van ‘n leeftyd se hoop en verlang
Jou vas vang.

En so raak ek toe verlore
Tussen die miriade woorde
Wat jy nie verby
Jou lippe kan kry.

Stunted

I first saw you in a cloud shaped like a man
And in the wingspan of an eagle

You spun your sky around me
Till I flowered and froze
And so wintersweet and willingly
Became the shape you chose.

I wanted you to grow me
Like a tiger lily
I wanted your hand to fit
In the small of my back

But instead my bones turned black
And I blossomed and burned
When my back was turned.

In your shadow, I was never alone
In your echo, I became a semi-tone

I should’ve flown
Before your eyes caught me
And turned me into stone
I should’ve known
Your aim was to distort me
And leave me on my own
Bittersweet, frostbitten
In your long-forgotten city

The history of our love
Like a mystery, like a dove
Is written in graffiti
Where our harboured street
And the moon’s reflection meet

And I’ll always wonder how
You managed to make me feel so tall
And at the same time
So incredibly small.

I’m sorry

I’m sorry I beheld you like a painting
I’m sorry I never held you like a person
I’m sorry I couldn’t complete the story you started writing as a boy
About the child inside a whale

I’m sorry I couldn’t finish your tale
About the girl cradled in an orange rind
I’m sorry I could not be the story
Of your woman of glory…

I just failed to find
Where you ended and I began
So I ran…

Jou mond

Jou mond
Fluit vir my ‘n spruit
Wat borrel en swerwe
Op die oppervlakte van ons land.
My drome bly droë druppels
Vasgevang in die sand.
Jou mond
Is briljant.

Tired

I tried to recall the rhyme our bodies made
As we laid under the setting moon
And you hummed the tune
Of an old cartoon

Your whispers made me weak
Your words set me free
Under a star-filled canopy
Love appeared to me
In the shade of a tree

The poetry in our sighs
Could’ve won a Nobel prize
Your three fingers on my thigh
In the form a C chord –
A Grammy award

Our friction wrote a dictionary
You made me feel less ordinary
You were my best
And I still believe your chest
Was made to fit my cheek

But now we don’t even speak
You left before the week
Was over
The four-leafed clover
That I found in my hair
Never warned me it was to be a rebound affair

I was cheated out of luck
In the end it was just
To help you pretend
That the woman you went home to
Hadn’t forgotten how to love you

But in trying to erase
The pain you still had to face
You hurt me instead

Well, you’re still in my head
You’re on my lips, my tongue, my hips

I’ve washed, I’ve scrubbed, I’ve shaved
But I still crave your hands, your smile
You made my life worthwhile

The memory of your breath
Has made me blind
Now all I have is death on my mind

Unabridged
On a bridge
I stare at the cars below
I dare myself to swallow
My pointless expectation

I feel a sense of elation
As my feet leave the foundation
I lift my empty hands to the sky
I’m done asking why

I just wish I could’ve known
A little more about you
It might have helped me live
A life without you

I wanted to love you

I wanted to love you
But I didn’t know how
Or when or where
To start.

I couldn’t find a space
Between the abrasions on your heart
On which to lay my head.

I tread softly between
The tearing tissue
As you bled.

But I couldn’t find a place
To build my happiness
From your unhappiness.

I tried to find a lily pad
On the surface of that red river
On which to float.

I swam in vain
In search of a smile
On the bottom of that plasma pool.

So I honoured the voice inside my head
I let you go, kissed you and said,
“I wish I’d never met you.”

I caressed you one last time
To separate your pain from mine.

I don’t even think you noticed
Me skipping down the street
And how I left that heap of despair
On the floor
Between your feet.

Mengelmoes

My onderklere lê versprei
‘n Weerkaatsing van my

Twee g-strings in die cubby-hole
‘n Push-up in my handsak
Daars ‘n pantie oor die spiëlkas
En ‘n sykous opgevromel in my agterste broeksak

Waar is ek veronderstel om jou tussen in te vind?

As die lewe soms oorspoel

Jy laat my dink aan fynbos en heuning
Ek voel jou rustigheid in my spiere se spanning

In die spasies tussen my kinderdae
En die masker wat ek deesdae dra
Skenk jy vir my ‘n kussing

Daars ‘n sagte plek in die holte van jou nek
Waar my trane versamel en verdamp

Jou woorde weef self-vertroue deur my vlegsel
Terwyl jou oë my leegheid blou inkleur en met vere voltooi

Jy neem die haat wat aan my ligaam klou
Saggies tussen jou vingers
En laat dit vry

Jou asem, koel teen my klam vel, verlam my
My vuiste ontvou teen jou bors en ondek jou hart se ritme

Uitgeput teen jou skouer
En opgekrul soos ‘n baba
Draai jy my in drome toe

En in die holte van jou hand
Lê daar ‘n klip