Image by Tim Solademi from Pixabay

On love (XXXIX)

I begin nestled
in fluid, cord, organs

Then skin and chests and breasts


I keep coming for limbs, lips and cheeks


And when I’m full blown

I still need shoulders, hands and ears



My heart beats in yours



Even if no one hears


Even if this appears only through things that are
bought and sold



When I am told to self quarantine

I will find my accordion/my tambourine/my…
and play for you from my balcony

I will sing with you from my window

I will walk to your home, sms you to come out and
chat from 2 metres

I will forgo my work and play with you



I will find a way to give


In a world built and crumbling
from taking.






Salimah Valiani is a poet, activist and researcher based in Igoli (Johannesburg). She has published four collections of poetry and Dear South Africa, a 2019 Praxis Magazine e-chapbook. Her next poetry collection, 29 leads to love, will be published by Inanna Publications in 2021.


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