belonging

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A visual response words I wrote as a result of being called a “mkwerekwere*” while I was living in Cape Town:
I’ve been fighting off this feeling
For longer than I can remember
The need to understand a language that your mouth fails to speak
The need to have a home
(Frantically) Looking for it in people
In the beds of lovers
Longing for it in the sky
In the land
The need to drive to my mother’s house
to have Sunday family lunches,
The need to stop wondering if they know I’m different,
that I’m not from here
To stop wondering if they can see it in the way my eyes slant
The way my nose curves
The way I say my a’s and my e’s
The need to not always be
A stranger
A mystery
A foreigner
—-
Note:
Foreigner:
It lingers over you like an unpaid debt
Ringing and echoing “you do not belong here”

*offensive word that means foreigner

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