Tanaka Mhishi

WHAT ACTIVISTS DO ON WEEKDAY MORNINGS
 

The guy who is going to play me on stage
has a voice that only speaks in major key,
so when he talks my mind throws up
the words accident, soliloquy, arpeggio.

I am sitting under blanket
that has not been cleaned
since I brought it back from India.

on the sofabed
that has not been cleaned
since I was raped.

I keep sandwiching my feelings
in between statistics.
He keeps calling me mate
to make me feel like we are colleagues,
like this is the sort of thing people talk about
on weekday mornings in February

(I know all about what can happen
on a weekday morning in February.)

I keep thinking that there’s so much dust everywhere,
so many Chinese takeaway boxes.
Whenever I answer him
my voice is only sharps and flats.


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