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Lindela (the winnie suite)

an excerpt from ‘Lindela (the winnie suite)’ by Dominique Malaquais

car, maps, time. passports. visas. the king’s m-o-t-h-e-r-f-u-c-k-i-n-g english. we have all of it. and still we don’t find anything

for miles, not a signyou could go for hours, circling, on this brown plain. looking. looking. and see nothinglindela. rimes with mandela. in tswana. lingala. lindela? have you seen lindela? where the mozambicans are. the qat-dead eyes of a man (somali? eritrean?) trailing a finger through my hair

 

lindela

a man on a bicycle, boer face lined, throat cluttered, tells us the way. flegm. dust

men, women, wait. you’ve seen it before: waiting for nothing, waiting to wait. necks slack. hands/skin/guts dry. cold. no one here is from here. sudan. chad. seeking home, finding shit. children who will forget their names

i have been here a week. it doesn’t take long to hear the stories. 200 rand to get out if you’re zimbabwean. mozambique, 300. congo, cameroon: more. cost rises with distance and the thickness of vowels

a boxer i meet spends 3 weeks. 2500. 5 months’ rent. beatings. blankets, a man tells me in berea, blankets a madman would know better than use

lindela is for mandela. madikizela-mandela

the women’s league sees to this camp. and others

my friend, sweet friend, you’ll be wanting a statue of liberty: mama come, deliver me your weary, your downtrodden. i have scarves. razor wire scarves. for necks slender with the walk from there to here

mali. burkina. kin kin kin

(c) Dominique Malaquais

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