Two Poems by Siza Nkosi

the music that keeps me up at night

in the hour of dreams
young voices dance
to the distant doef-doef sound
of senseless lyrics

drums chant ceaselessly
to izangoma who’ve woken
the drunken spirits of their fathers

the religious ones tap and clap
at a night vigil
a coffin in the bedroom

backroom tenants
discharge sexual screams
or are they violent ones?

my heart moves between keys
trying to find the right note
to start the day

on the N17

poor man
with a red and yellow plastic bag in your hand
potatoes are scattered on the road
the rainbow chicken waiting to boil with onions
but the freeway is for cars
where were you going?

a telephone call from now
they’ll be looking to identify your body
arms stretched, head facing the other side
your body cold
like the pieces you brought for dinner
frozen, melting under the silver tinfoil
roasting like sunday lunch news

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