12 years an asylum seeker in South Africa
Is nothing compared to 12 years a slave.
Where refugee statuses are only given
To those who wear cologne, and where the stickers
Are not awarded for best behaviour.

Our seething and straggling presence
For the six-month extensions for sixteen years
Has left us dead but breathing.
We are all drug dealers, crime doers and illegal
It’s war all over again, leaving one in trepidation.

Our piercing echo screams are their slow stomp of feet
And hands that happened once upon a time
In the segregation between blacks and whites.
The handwork we produce is manifested as afrophobia
And later makes us scapegoat. Our forced smiles,
The ones that almost look invisible,
The pain on our faces,
The ire in our vaginas
Are the reasons we had to look for refuge.