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Image by Catherine via Flickr.

Look how these men move through the earth,
carelessly,
eyes forward,
shoved towards an urgent destination
(though never feeling they have arrived).

Look how closely the man stands his ground,
hard-eyed,
half-smiling,
while the woman beneath him buckles, compromises, second-guesses
her strength.

In the most simple moments,
the flow of the earth is revealed.
Skip the queue in front of the struggling women,
pace down the street, see them leap out the way.
How free it must feel to have all that room,
to move,
to become,
to create.

How amazing it is that we achieve anything at all
in the small spaces we’re given.
Those leftover, bald, barren places.
Working the earth,
decorating our tiny corner until it glistens,
until our rage breaks the rocks that carried you,
and the walls that held you up (and held us in).
Until we scream,
a dark roiling scream that sticks to all it touches,
rich as after-birth.
Look.

 

 

About the Author:

Amy is a writer and book blogger based in Johannesburg. She has twice been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and her short stories have been featured in anthologies across the continent including: CACE Writivism, Jalada Africa, The Kalahari Review and two Short Sharp Stories anthologies. She is represented by The Bent Agency in New York and London, who are currently pitching her first debut novel internationally.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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