at the bioscope

she said much and spoke so animatedly
that i felt sure she must have been drunk before
and she took a shine to me and
told stories bluntly how the people here do: how her
parents made money in mpumalanga but her
father died; how she had been to las vegas too
but really wanted to see the mountains out east,
even though they might well be racist, she
still felt fine.

all this with johannesburg sunk in bitter cold
so that even the lights of maboneng did us no good.
she wanted cigarettes and almost got them
but the corner shop had closed, but we
had our beers open the whole time
and drew no attention.

lovely, but she said she had a fiancé,
and that was fine; she talked much
and it was hard to all follow.

but this is africa too: this is it increasingly;
johannesburg is more like africa than i
can ever understand—

full of money, piss and gold and gourmet cheese

maboneng (is where it’s happening)
you know.

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