To Die In the Orange

There are some among us
Faceless faces in the crowd
Strangers on the bus
Ants not unlike other ants in this army.

6 pm comes and
Takes away the day’s clothes
Gives them their orange with reflective knee tape;
Their bellowing cape.
Sirens blaring, lights flashing
Stop someone’s heart crashing.

And as you sleep
Your tired head dreaming in the deep
Who prowls the night,
Eyes wide open and eagle sight?
Who keeps the end at bay,
A lighthouse for those who have lost their way?

Dial three numbers, they spring
And rush to hold on to
The fragile ends of your broken string.
And if you ever begin to sink
Don’t you ever think
Your life-vest is more than a call away.

Fifteen coffins
Fifteen dreamers
Fifteen givers
The tears of fifteen mothers
Fifteen lives exchanged
For a hundred thousand others.

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The Taste of Home

My arms rest around a waist
A column of my home.
Into the windows
The brown tinted windows.
Perfume,
The flowers of this place
Lingering on my hands after.
The walls brush
Against the skin of my shoulders.
The gate I know
I have the key
Around my neck.
I touched my lips
To the floor of this house
And I taste the taste
Of where I know my heart
Will rest.

How Long Does It Take To Break?

I came home late
On Monday night,
Asked for my dinner.
The rice was cold and stale
Stew was bland and pale,
BITCH
When will you learn?
I took off my belt
Showed her how I felt.

I came home late
On Tuesday night,
Horny to the tips of my knee.
She was tired
Not feeling wired,
BITCH
When will you learn?
I fetched the cane
Let her feel my pain.

I came home late
On Wednesday night,
Straight to the bathroom.
The toilet was unclean
Green and wet stinky latrine,
BITCH
When will you learn?
I put on my glove
Showered her with my tough love.

I came home late
On Thursday night,
With a raging headache.
The children made noise
Fussing over their toys,
BITCH
When will you learn?
I grabbed the whip
Cut open her lip.

I came home late
On Friday night,
A bad day at work and a dozen beers.
She asked how much I’d drank
My mind went red blank,
BITCH
When will you learn?
A slave insulting a king!
So I did to her a terrible thing,
I don’t really remember
That terrible night in December.
And when I was done
And the rage had run
She was covered in blood
The floor showered with vomit
Broken bones and torn clothes,
Out had seeped
Wails and screams
Out had leaked
Tears in streams
She’ll be blue tomorrow.
BITCH
When will you learn?
She had cried
Begged
Moaned.
Defeated
Inside, inside she retreated.
I dragged her to the bedroom
And had my way
She said nothing
Just lay
Like an unwound toy
Taking it,
Taking it all
Her eyes fixed on the ceiling above
Her pupils dilated
Her head vacated,
And when I was done
With this long due disgrace
I spat on her bloody face
BITCH
I own you.
And then I went to bed.
That’ll teach her.

I woke up late
On Saturday morning
At the break of dawn
She was long gone
Home was empty
There was only me
By my hand
I broke my last rubber band
I pulled and I pulled.
And she had learnt.