Read: Manthipe Moila

Manthipe Moila holds a BA Hons in English from Rhodes University. Her creative work has been published on sites such as Type/Cast and Aerodrome. If you ever catch her talking to herself, she is probably just writing a poem or short story out loud.


Dust

i want. the walls within. razed.
i want. to scream. as they come down.
i want. to be rocked by the earth. as it quivers.
i want the dust. i want it sticky. with my sweat.

i am a woman. after a man.
with an excavator. and soft hands.
do you. see. my. predicament.

maybe I am. singing. into the wrong mouth.
maybe there is a woman. with soft hands.
who isn’t afraid. of the dust.
the dust. that i want.
the dust. that. i think i want.


Wedding Day

And when he asks again
why you don’t want to get married
you eventually tell him with a laugh-cum-sob
that you don’t want to die
(like that)
You are already losing time
like you shed hair:
you point to the long
list,
the unfinished
podcasts,
the 8 open tabs,
waiting, waiting
for you to finish
And you never finish
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

with men
(not like that)
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

You are owed a million little deaths,
are aghast at the possibility of dying open,
wide-mouthed,
waiting for the pleasure that you were promised
(155,156, 157…)
For you
love is like a thick synthetic braid come undone
(158…is this the part where it feels good?)
it doesn’t do what it should
and even fire can’t keep it
(No? 159, 160…)
Hasn’t he always wondered why they say
(if anyone objects to this union)
with parted lips⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (I do I do I do)
‘till death do us part’
(you may now ki-)
He is confused
so you tell him where to look:

Here comes the bride
having forgotten where to hide
She is iron-clad and armed,

⠀⠀⠀⠀- but no one’s to be harmed! -
Later, she parts her lips to say
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ wait – why does it hurt this way?
Never mind! No! Stay!
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀Also, show me how to use this gun
⠀⠀⠀- is this the part where it’s fun?

Lastly, with a scream and with a cry:
I don’t wanna die, die, die

(like that)


Love in 3 parts

1
    - someone says love
    - and the first order of business is to imagine the flotsam
    - then, the part where the ocean drags you both into her bowels
    - and makes an obstruction out of you

    - do you see           the museum of ruin
    - salt-soaked and resplendent in moss
    - made less pitiful by the water that swallowed it
2
    - someone says love
    - and the first order of business is to imagine the flotsam
(oh?)
    - then, the part where the ocean drags you both into her bowels
(how dramatic)
    - and makes an obstruction out of you
(agh)

    - do you see             the museum of ruin
    - salt-soaked and resplendent in moss
(nah, not really)
    - made less pitiful by the water that swallowed it
(love or you?)
3
    - someone says love
    - and the first order of business is to imagine the flotsam
    - then, the part where the ocean drags you both into her bowels
    - and makes an obstruction out of you

    - close your eyes. part your lips. arch your back.
    - and build             the museum of ruin
    - salt-soaked and resplendent in moss
    - made less pitiful by the water that swallowed it