Sinaso Mxakaza, SOUTH AFRICA

A MAN’S WORLD

I am a young daughter to the ghetto rough streets 
Prostitution sir, is my panty liner
A financed society norm to keep filthy men warm at night 
and some percentage of dirty children on a leash 
Somebody raised sons that run around 
They lied to us as girls
made us believe the secrets our mothers 
locked in our hips are good prisons to habour men 

I have undocumented scriptures lining my mouth 
I am a roughly cut woman 
Paving out modern reflections of this delicate gender 
All that welcomes us home are broken bottles 
jukebox sounds of shattered hearts 
and cold corners in dark alleys 
The foundations our families 
were built on are shaky 
threefold wounds radiate through generations and still litter our souls 
Freedom is but these sweet songs 
we’re singing, numbing our hearts to the pain 
On walking home alone carrying rich history 
pregnant with forgotten sons 
who died in battle lines or ran after the wind 
chasing the comfort of the sun 
and the battered ruins housed in liquor dreams


SHAKY FORMS OF A YOUNG BLACK WOMAN

Sometimes I feel like I swallowed a timeline of broken women 
Like the men pressed war onto our skins and the gods are the departed. 
Time is a remedy that loves the sadness in my soul. 
I drown in these reflections.  
Come apart at the potter's hands
become sick at the thought that I might misplace myself.
I am a room full of empty people.  
Things that seek home. 
Our names are the future we hope for
and mere memories of those that were before us.
Womanhood is a new birth
 a slow transition into different forms of love drowned in hate and sorrow.  
No beautiful, you wiggle into this angry mess and let it consume you. 
Be your two shades of lighter than the night sky. 
Hey sunshine, I've been watching you give birth to yourself in mirrors of your mother.  
How you look like you swallowed a diamond mine from the time she first laid eyes on you  ‘til now when you are constantly raining apologies for being valuable. 

Sometimes I pick my name up from the winds' embrace
and it smells like tragedies centuries old.
We go into this life prematurely
with gullible hearts, hopeful souls and youthful dreams.
My baby, one minute you were a happy bundle in my arms
and overnight the lullabies turned to grief.  
You have grown into a soldier
with bullet holes lining your young body like a lazy lover.  
Your eyes carry forsaken destinies and lost obituaries. 
Our skin was but a distant relative of the sun. 


SLOW MEDICINE

Age is like slow medicine to the broken women
drowning like refugees in the borders of suffocated breaths
I tell life it is hard to breathe, my lungs are clogged
with becoming more than a man without disturbing norms

I feel like I swallowed tragedies of women who live to be beautiful
while slowly decaying with social ills, trapped in their own bodies like
flowers flourishing under dying suns
Imprisoned by laws that never protected them
Who still dreams of being a princess in a fairytale
Reality says it’s time to be the shotgun and the fire
Growth refines me like fine wine
I will to merge myself with your blood
disturb your heartbeats a little and melt your bones
Loosen your tongue to the bittersweet kisses of living
Age is reflected in how time crawls on mother’s skin
leaving whispers of yesterdays
Her eyes photographs of uncaptured tomorrows



Sinaso Mxakaza is a young South African writer who started writing in 2008 inspired by her love for books. Her poems are about healing, change and finding one's voice in the world we live in. Her work has been published online in sites such as Poetry Potion, Ja Mag SA, Agbowo, Nthanda Review, Writers Space Africa, The Pangolin Review, ACEworld, an online anthology (Next Generation Speaks Global Youth Anthology) and Africa, UK, and Ireland: Writing Politics and Knowledge Production Vol and Best New African Poets 2018 Anthology. She was longlisted for the 2018 Sol Plaatjie European Award and the first runner up in the Creative Freelance Writerz June 2018 competition.

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