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When women are train stations

by Dimakatso Sedite

I knew a man who had a woman at every station;
each drenched in the perfume of her township,
oozing with the warmth of the bosoms and blankets
of their grandmothers.

Mahikeng fed him hugs;
a sea of a dress flaunting curves,
hiding the hell blazing in her chest
as she swallowed her wrath with a twisted pink-chalked smile.

Orkney wrapped her uneasy hope in tight jeans,
sliding sideways after a few beers gulped in a wind-shocked shack,
too sugar-drunk-sweet to sink into this hollow tube of a man;
a flower blooming in the shadow of a mine dump and loving what it knew.
(Her boobs, green apples; her nipples, peanuts poking her T-shirt
to a buzz of hooting taxis and GTI’s.
Grime of life underneath her cotton-white All Stars,
crushing seeds into the ground.)

Orlando was older, a pot of slow-cooking stew –
simmering his soul as the future waited.
Tembisa was tea, trembling in a paper cup,
trying to tease the Tom out of his train,
tearing its twigs apart to live now and not in Orlando’s future
or Mahikeng’s anger.

Each station was more than his taste buds could take;
leaving behind snaking smoke to haunt the frozen tracks
of that train of a man.