Hold on

I’m driving up the road.

The day is ending. Broken glass on the road. In the chest. In my chest. Things you’re not supposed to see. ‘We told you not to look. Why are you still looking?’ The morbid fascination. Ice. It’s all ice. Hit so hard I had to sit. My God. These delusions. Feeding off it like fish in a pool. Fool. Read all the signs except the ones you should. All the signs I drove past. God knows. Still, what about the road? That effing road. Someone had to follow it. Why was it me? Right to the end. Why?

What did you expect? Something better than this.

They lied about time. Mostly. The bloody occipital. Won’t let me write. The yoga did it in.

There’s nothing to say. Nothing to say to anyone. Wordless words. An empty mouth aching to say it anyway. You  shouldn’t have looked. It’s your own bloody fault. The man who sells the litchis at the bend is packing up. The day is folding in itself, bending at the knees and elbows as it prepares for the night. The bliss of sleep. The end of everything. Sleep.

For a moment I want to tell him that someone is selling litchis for R10 cheaper in Sparks road. Does he grow them? His father is sitting with him. What do they talk about all day?

Look. You can look at this. The sky is aching. The colour of my bones. A fever at the back of my neck. Stop looking. Stop. Where else to look? I see too much. Look up. Look at my sky. My sky in my city. Not yours. Once that was my other city but that too is gone now. Spoilt. Something bitter in the water. I have seen too much. It’s too much. 

I promise you. It’s too much.

We told you to stop looking.


The sudden recognition breaks apart the face.

Numb. Some times. The best times. Cut my thumb with a knife and I won’t feel it.

My city, my sky, my roads. My history. My childhood. My memories. There, right there we crossed the road to go to the library. Do you remember? You held my hand. It was called something else then, and it wasn’t so busy like it is now. My smile took up half my face then. A fountain on top of my head. My road. MY library. Untainted. Still mine. Still my sky. Even that city is still mine. The water, the land, all mine. The world existed for me then.

You recognise yourself in these words, don’t you? In the curve of the s, the point of the i. There’s that flicker of recognition as you skim through these words. The road as you crossed it. The dreadful mornings. The breath, oh, the breath that can never get back in. The day the sunset felt like it was the last ever. The smell of the library, that green scratchy jersey, rubber shoes on the school floor, straight hair on the forhead, the feel of bones inside skin grown too tight. Plain child. Big smile. The universe jumping as she drew. I was there. I was there. 

I lived.

The fever at the back of my neck. So many delusions. Fish at the edge waiting to feed. Always on the verge. The edge of something. Tilting. The sky falling down face-up. Never had enough to give. Not the real deal. Missed the signs. Cast aside. Half-baked. What intelligence? You saw the cut corners. Cut them open further. The head holes broke open. Too much, it’s too much. I swear. There’s no air. Look up. Look at the sky. Look at my sky in my city. Hold on. Hold on tight. Wait for the wave to take you.

Hold on.

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