the loss felt by two who were three
is the same as
the loss felt by eight
who were eleven
not because the fractions are similar
but because the vacuity of space emptied
to the bareness of one
that has long been one
just as Lorraine Klassen singing Miriam Makeba and Thandi Klassen in 2019
is different to
Tu Nokwe singing her journals with a nod to Princess Magogo
a drum set replacing so many separate drums is different
to a guitar strumming its strings into song.
SALIMAH VALIANI is a poet, activist, and researcher of world historical political economy. She has published four collections of poetry: breathing for breadth (2005), Letter Out: Letter In (2009), land of the sky (2016) and Cradles (2017). Her next book, Dear South Africa, is one of seven selected by JK Anowe for Praxis Magazine’s 2019-2020 Chapbook Series. https://www.facebook.com/SalimahValianiPoet/ She lives in Johannesburg and comes from 100 (million) years of wayfaring.