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Nuwe skryfwerk | New writing > Poësie | Poetry > English > Published poets

Joburg pix, not taken


Arja Salafranca - 2011-07-27

Untitled Document

Joburg pix, not taken

A man, having his head shaved,
highlighted by the dusk of early evening.
All around him, gathering darkness, except his head,
this small stall, lit by phosphorescence,
haloed by a weird greenish purple light.
A flash of colour.
I drive on.

Another man, lurching across the road.
Perhaps forty, mouth already gummy,
long brown hair scraggly,
head shakes, words spill out,
but they mean nothing.
I let him pass, a smile of gratitude,
before he reverts back.

A woman, whose breasts are wide and flat,
fat bulges under her cheap beige knit.
She strolls, slatternly, slowly,
I must wait, gunning my engine.

The man who puts his hand through my window.
Takes hold of my keys: Give me money now.
No, I say, surprised. No, again. I won’t give you my keys.
Eyes darting, afraid, he runs away.
No, I carry on, although no one can hear me.
Money in the boot, not much.
I don’t carry much these days.
Money, along with camera,
tucked away in the boot,
where they can hurt nobody.


  • First published in Iodine Poetry Journal, US