at montecasino

if all it took to
make Johannesburg a normal city
was a teenager in an ill-fitting jacket
wanding everyone—my God,
is it that easy?

or maybe what it takes
is a few million dollars
and some paving stones and Vespas you can
chain to fake light poles,
some canvas to paint like permanent Italian sunset
and a judicious use of neon.

maybe the whole nation could be like
Montecasino: we could put the food court
in Bloemfontein and convert Port Elizabeth to toilets;
Cape Town would be nothing but gelato
shops and underwear boutiques—basically unchanged, and
we could hang shabby-chic bulbs
from the blikkies we’ll repurpose
into craft gin bars

(the shack dwellers will all be working
at the famous Fourways Mugg and Bean
which will have five million seats,
or at the Spur next door
in Hartebeespoort).

all will have jobs this way, you see,
and none hungry.

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