I smoked a spliff with Jesus Christ last night.
Then leaned over and stuck my eyes inside his soul.
The father let me take a journey through his pain,
and beside the tears of Judas I saw my own.
“J” said: He and man built a nation in my mind.
Where God and Gods ruled for an eternity.
The universe guided as through the in-betweens
to find that people needed more than just militancy.
I could provide nothing more than everything.
The earth gave birth to me the flesh of natural truth.
And in the hope of feeling light within themselves.
I bleed my love for their fears as proof.
By the time I died I was an ordinary man.
They made me God so they wouldn’t have to do the same.
I lost the pulse of humanity in this religion.
Sometimes I feel it though in solitudes of pain.
But he was Jesus,
and I’m a sister,
so I’ve been through more shit.
Cuz I’m black, and life in hard in Jozi when you’ve got tits.
So J.C. sparked another cone,
as I told him about this brother
with the rainbow colours in his dome.
My life was prayer to his rhythms inside him inside me.
Creation was a haven in his chest.
He was me as a spirit, lover, sister, mother,
friend in arms like no other.
I was born to be the summer in his fingertips.
He in my belly made the moonrise where my midnight sits.
And as he ravaged his way through my mind,
I entertained plastic hopes to find a future in our path,
but it burned at both ends.
It’s over now and as I sift through lies
I know I can depend
on no love.
For none can replace my own.
And when the tears stopped falling Jesus took me home.
And then he stepped into the fury of my soul.
J said: Love is infinite gratitude for the power of the self.
Seek the answers in your own voice before you look to anyone else.
Nurse the child who weeps in the valley of your suffering,
and cleanse her face with ebony rains
and make way for what the future brings.
Teach her to make love not find love.
To be love not seek love.
To grow love and know love
that she might give love and receive love in due time.
But don’t make martyrs from the flaws of mortal kinds.
Before you let another burn you think twice.
Remember no one is worth your paradise.
So maybe he was right, and maybe I’m all alone.
Maybe we’re both fucked up,
we were both definitely stoned.
It’s just a story about what happened last night.
And how two spirits got real open when the herb was tight!
Poet, performer, actress, presenter and producer Lebogang Mashile, the daughter of exiled South Africans, was born in the United States in 1979. At the age of sixteen, she and her family returned to their home country. It was while she was studying Law and International Relations that the desire to work as an artist took hold on her. Mashile regards poetry’s expressive powers as the most effective tool to bring about those changes that are needed in the aftermath of socio-political changes in South Africa. She lives in Johannesburg with her son.
This poem previously appeared in print in Chimurenga 3: Biko In Parliament (Nov. ’02)
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