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My friend

These days, despair is my constant companion.
His hollow eyes follow me everywhere I go.
I notice him when I wake up each morning.
Sometimes, he stands at the foot of my bed,
Gazing at me forlornly,
Almost as though he expects me
To pull back the covers
And invite him in.
On other days, I wake up and we are
Lying next to each other,
Nose to nose.
His scent –
A mixture of flames, and ash, and rage,
And regret –
Fills my nostrils.

He is my right hand man,
My mirror,
And my knife.

I long for the day I never see him again.

Kamcilla Pillay is a former journalist who has travelled locally and abroad
extensively covering science, environmental and development issues. She
lives in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and now teaches high school English.

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