Tshegofatso Seboni


Hotel suite floor
Holding head on lap,
Alternating cigarette between
Mine and his lips.
Seated against the couch,
Observing dawn through the
Roof to floor windows,
Speaking calming words,
Trying to break the spell of a bad high,
“It’s okay, I know where we are”,
“It’s okay, I know where we are.”
Cigarette puff,
Hand going for a hair stroke,
Pause asleep.
Continue anyway,
Last drag cigarette, flick.
Wraparound glasses finally taken off,
Red eyes, letting droplets fall.



Fallen grandeur,
Glory days of the twentieth century,
Abandoned hotel,
Condemned Squalor.

Late nights,
Empty streets,
Sole squatter.
Faeces piss, sweat,
Cigarette on lip,
Shotgun in hand,
Searching the building
< Under streaks of moonlight
Listening for the slightest
Creak or groan of wood.

Eyes wild,
Tongue unable to swallow,
Wired heart beating,
Hands steady,
Ready to shoot into every room.



Steel barrel pushing against lose black teeth,
Mixing with blood
Post vomit spit.
Hot flush,
Tears sweat,

Hammer pulled back.

Bad streets,
Late night,
Still warm,
Back alley opium den
Post Monsoon wash,
Dead in Laos.



Thunder lightning,
Stormy raining.
Drunken driving,
Screams from the boot
Kicking backseats,
Cars hooting.

Wheel balanced with legs,
Cigarette with matches lit,
Three puffs,
Volume up to eleven,
Wheel grab swerve into oncoming.
Seat belt unclipped,
Reach across ether soaked shirt,
Eyes closed,
Foot pressed down,
Shirt bought up for a sniff, dropped.



Ponytail hair pulled back
Five o’clock shadow
Thumb and pinkie rings,
Wife beater.
Easy walking in.

Late to the party,
From the front
Through the house
To the back,
Familiar greetings,
Head nods,
Long distance hand signs
Two-second conclusion to past conversations,
Previous laughs on recognition.
Scene characters.
Fist bumps, high fives,
Kisses on cheeks
Hug and hits given.

Bros’ and sis already mixing,
Deep in the party
Back yard
Sister dropping the pipe running up,
Jumping hug kiss,
Drunken high beyond bliss,
Greeting followed by melancholic whisper,
“We almost out bro”
Into Shouts of fuck!
Back into giddiness.

Same cool expression on Joshs’ face,
As when he walked in,
Cigarette lit,
Keys taken out, and thrown to boys,
“Check the back of the truck”
“John called I got you sis.”



All cides, killing and consuming each other,
To the whistles of the ghetto lords,
AKs’ shot up in jubilation
Group gang Rape,
Minister naked,
President in between gorging
Clapping hands trying to restore order,
Mid clap stopping to grab a thigh,
Chief Justice slapping ass,
Squeezing past.

Quiet country,
No scream left,
Tears all gone.

Open yard
Minister driving in
No front gate,
Grass, path,
Leading up to a glass door
Knee length back wall,
Too many doors to lock them all,

Breathe easy,
Many meters high electrified
Outer estate fence and walls,
Armed perimeter guards
Foot bike and car.
Wife hug,
Backyard garden,