Brick displaced your Face
Blow after blow
Bone by bone
Your face cracked and caved
Smashed under the pressure of the sharp concrete
That was brought down with full force
Upon the canvas we used to call your face
You used to see the world
Through your now crushed eye sockets
I can hear you gargling your blood
The way I do with an oral antiseptic, when I have strep throat.
But I’m getting ahead of myself-
This is how it started. Right…
He came at me first
I knew instinctively that he was the weakest in the group.
I could read the fatalistic courage in his eyes.
Let me correct myself
He only wishes to be killed one day ‘coz his life is not worth living.
But like the coward he is
He only preys on the weak.
He came my way, leading the sheep-troops.
And said that tonight
He would make a Woman outta me.
They surrounded me
Like a pack of wolves
When you defend yourself from one
You’re bitten, pulled down and attacked by another.
I remember the aggressive cheers when one landed a particularly
Good blow. They are hungry.
I know they heard me scream.
The same screams that urged them further
And further with the rising of the pitch.
But that is not who I’m talking about
I’m talking about the people,
Who live in the houses around me.
My pleas, my begs and my prayers.
They heard me.
Then reached for their windows
Locking them tighter.
And put fabric under their doors
So the sound of my screams does not carry as much.
Muffling their fear-filled-seemingly-secure-homes.
All of that only applies if
You keep your head down.
See, if you are silent,
You are invisible so you don’t and
can’t open that door or call for help…
Yes Noxolo, I hear you.
But, you know how it goes.
Say it with me:
So? I didn’t open my door?
None of us did.
I, too, wanna live.
I know it was the longest night of your life.
It was the longest night of all of us hearing
Life being beaten out of you.
You fought to stay alive,
While I fought the vibrations carried
by the sound of your screams.
I had never wished to be deaf,
Until that night.
I read about what happed that night in the newspaper.
Then I also wished I was blind too.
I’m scared and surrounded.
I’ve always known myself to be a fighter,
But how can I break myself out of this?
Those that hear my screams wont open their doors.
The first blow brings me to my knees.
The air escapes me like an old couch.
They are all yelling and berating me
All at once.
They keep saying the same thing:
“sinner!” and “abomination!”
“If you get a taste of this, you will come right!”
“She is corrupting our women!!!”
“O Mang wena?!?”
The first assault was the words and steel eyes.
Then the pushing.
Then the pinning down.
The phlegmy spits.
Then the props;
Stones, rocks, sneakers landing on my body.
Ribs cracking… crick-crack. Smash.
Then the collective rage found a brick
And crash rained upon crash.
They cheered each other on.
I know more than half of them;
My murderers and brutalizers.
That is why they wont let me live to see the dawn.
I sat beside the one in the red shirt, at school for three years.
He always seemed so sweet.
And then the harsh cruel reality
This. Is. It…
I still carry some of the shame.
That’s why I wont tell you about the
Sexual violation, the brutalization.
That hurt more than the blows to my being.
I’m gonna refrain from telling you,
And how many
And what they said
How I bled.
The deep voiced persuasions.
And again, the tearing.
They found me.
They found me with my brain splattered
Far form my body.
Face broken by bricks, smashed in,
A condom and beer bottle inside me.
All 47kg of me.
My parents weren’t allowed to identify me.
On account of sparing them the secondary trauma.
I can’t remember exactly
When I died.
All I remember is that I tried to fight for life
So I might be able to warn others.
They must know that they are never safe walking alone.
Not even on Pride. Not even for a few meters.
Your Pride is not safe outside that door.
My last memory was the brick falling,
Forcefully on my face.
Warm crimson liquid flowing.
Chocking on my blood.
And I will say nothing about what was
Happening beneath below.
© Papiso Matsau