Gabriel Hoosain Khan
The tender aloe is aflame, veld fire at night.
Across a hilltop, ever moving, a line of light
On a moonless night.
It starts with a scurrying sound.
The rodents are moving,
I feel them around my feet.
That sweet smell, of burnt dry leaves, grass and trees,
A revolution, in plumes of swirling black smoke.
The smell of singed flesh and fur.
I kissed him against the gate of the greenhouse.
We were alone, his lips pink, his mouth
An open and inviting chasm.
The veld fire across the hilltop
At night time, a smooth curved line of light,
In the distance, ever encroaching,
Eating life, turning it into soot. The smoke now
Unseen, at first gives me a sultry, gentle choke,
And then with violence, our camp is surrounded.
Another boy, I, too, kissed, against the wall
Of an abandoned farmhouse. The house is now in flames.
We were young, he started this fire.