The day of someone’s wedding,
Probably, walking through
The parking lot, pleased enough
With how things turned out, watching
The cuticle moon come over
The expressway ramp … and I take
You—fair as linen, dressed in black—
Up to the city. You tap
A finger on the dash,
Pleased with how things turn out,
But it’s impossible to forget
This tilt, that look, the flash
Of your teeth, the wanting.
Your feet go lightly by my door
And brick dust sticks faintly to their heels.
By that I will trace you.
I cannot have no news of you anymore.
Woman at a Frontier
Down from the train, she is shaking from the knees.
A truck on patrol rattles over the track.
The child swaddled tightly to her back
Cries softly as she pleads in Portuguese
To come to Comatipoort from Nkomati
A bland young borderguard has a dog led
From a chicken wire cage in the bakkie’s bed,
And says to her, in Afrikaans, that he
Will not give her documents his stamp.
He calls the dog, the drags her by the shoulder
Out of the queue we’re in. The truck pulls over,
As it moves away, the dog is in the cab,
The mother and her child in the flimsy cage.
The guard turns my passport to the photo page.