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Sodom and Gomorrah

by Napo Masheane


No 53, Fourth Avenue, Sodom Road, Gomorrah

Rats out-number newborns
Block all sanitation
Cockroach flowing gutters
Flies never go on strike
One cannot get out of ghetto skin colour

Here poverty is a silent sob
Hanging like a coat
Only three minutes from homelessness
Your feeble hands cannot hold a spoon
A good dinner is papa le metsi a letswai
Inside a six pile garbage dump
The only dividing thing
Between them and us is the Dead Sea
Sandton City’s crystal mirrors glow to your face
Hours romancing your life like a painting
On their walls your wounds are forever bleeding
Even when you can smell the sweet baked cake
On the other side

Waking up
Surrounded by weed
Nyaope man swigged an axe on another
Chicken blood splattered
Where only yesterday children played
Mathini, mogusha, morabaraba le ma-dice
Two hours later sirens are heard
Slow motion police drive through dark alleys
Young girl stabbed by a kiss
Mother screams tear through the sky
Tears gather tears

How does one dream a way out?
How does one dream through the night?