This way I salute you:
My hand pulses to my back trousers pocket
Or into my inner jacket pocket
For my pass, my life,
Jo’burg City.
My hand like a starved snake rears my pockets
For my thin, ever lean wallet,
While my stomach groans a friendly smile to
hunger,
Jo’burg City.
My stomach also devours coppers and papers
Don’t you know?
Jo’burg City, I salute you:
When I run out, or roar in a bus to you,
I leave behind me, my love,
My comic houses and people, my dongas and
my ever
Whirling dust,
My death
That’s so related to me as a wink to the eye.
Jo’burg City
I travel on your black and white and roboted
roads
Through your thick iron breath that you inhale
At six in the morning and exhale from five
noon.
Jo’burg City
That is the time when I come to you,
When your neon flowers flaunt from your
electrical wind,
That is the time when I leave you,
When your neon flowers flaunt their way
through the
falling darkness
On your cement trees.
And as I go back, to my love,
My dongas, my dust, my people, my death,
Where death lurks in the dark like a blade in
the flesh,
I can feel your roots, anchoring your might,
my feebleness
In my flesh, in my mind, in my blood,
And everything about you says it,
That, that is all you need of me.
Jo’burg City, Johannesburg,
Listen when I tell you,
There is no fun, nothing, in it,
When you leave the women and men with such
frozen expressions,
Expressions that have tears like furrows of soil
erosion,
Jo’burg City, you are dry like death,
Jo’burg City, Johannesburg, Jo’burg City.