13 December 2021
When I read this poem by Dimakatso Sedite, it just blew me away, so much so that I’ve given it a page all on its own! To my mind, this is what poetry is all about. I think I’m in love with Dimakatso. B
LOVE ON FIRE by Dimakatso Sedite
I love Adhip, mama, his hair drips of Maghreb sands.
I’m happiness on fire. My madness is trapped on his tongue.
He does not break me like bread or fling me open like scissors.
His chest — a cocoon of hairs — not that stone that sawed my bones,
Not slippery like Galela’s gumboots.
My eyes claw on him as if sesame seeds on a bunny chow.
My love sweats the kind of madness you smell
In dogs on the run;
‘My child, when you love in seconds like that,
your heart will be charcoal within an hour,
twisting in the oven to die like soot,
like boulder Galela who got weary of the yellow
you burnt on his chest. Fires like yours flare
up everywhere, in these shacks,
in Adchip’s Atchar, in men so icy they slide
to the next house with rods writhing
bleeding feelings like yours.
Your blasted heart
will hover over pages of this township
like the hunger we breathe to fill our guts.’
Taken from: Yellow Shade by Dimakatso Sedite, Deep South Publishing
Buy the book here (for South Africans) and here for everyone else
About the Author
Dimakatso Sedite was born in Bloemfontein in 1969. She trained as a research psychologist and has worked in the areas of child rights, livelihoods and HIV/AIDS. Her poems, stories, and essays have appeared in several anthologies, journals and writer blogs. She was a joint winner of the 2019 Dalro poetry prize. Yellow Shade is her first collection of poems.