Track 10: She

Album: SAVES

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she is whispering a song barely audible above the sound of the knives slicing through the tomatoes the onions the meat onto the wood underneath while a shirtsleeve sweeps the tears from her cheeks like that little bird which comes once a year to peck at the rock of the globe and then disappears back into the black room of space

she has olympic size swimming pool dreams of being a heroine from the pages of books the final flurry of a movie in chipped black and white scenes in gleaming symphony-rich enamel but in the morning the pool has a hillside of hairline crack tufts racing across it leaking out all those dido-song dreams of happiness just the smell of brasso scrub-rough hands stretched grey ostrich leather bags under her eyes in the mirror rusting from behind

she tolerates the worst of it she has become a strong alpha-cement dam high up in the steep reaches of a raging river up in the berg she uses even the dirty water from the canal with all those bloated dead sheep people shit and municipal dumps to water the rows of mielies in her heart for every cob there is a weapon to her a weapon she likes to share eating off the cobs of grenades sucking out the goodness from the marrow bone hollow-points at the dinner table hoppes gun oil by the glassful for milk so we can be fat fed and happily loaded

she runs a motel for the families of the land who have forgotten that she’s the telecommunication tower antennas and disks pointing from a koppie on a point next to a road where you can see the past of the country in the dongas the ruts duststorms gravelslides the shaleslopes and the future of a people cut into the prescribed shapes of the puzzle-masters of the world who will package the landscapes townships suburbs skinned and salted farmlands neatly in quests of five thousand pieces and sell it back to us leaving us scratching our heads patting our empty pockets and asking wasn’t this ours to start with anyway?

she is a mother suckling beasts of prey to her breast releasing them from within the thicket of her ribs to go scouring the day’s fences border posts gutter rims bar stools bus stops babies’ feet for signs of a gentler passage through which we can negotiate the greedy hyperama of the 21st century din which is as we sit here hurtling our cars down tarred tenpin howling alleys towards a reset revert one step back button ripping from our feeble grip months years of living hours burning unwanted tattoos into our sunskins putting poison through pin-holes into the skins of our dilapidated homes where eventually one organ after the other will cough and splutter and skid to a halt