Yesterday I Cut Myself

Yesterday I cut myself.


Poems that are afraid of what they’re gona say,

Always start with: Yesterday.

And I have written many coward poems.

Poems that hide behind the past,

While waving a white paper flag that screams,

“I’m hoping for change!”

While really they whisper ‘surrender’.

So like Prometheus, I’ll grow a liver like courage.

Today I cut myself.

But who am I fooling?

Both of us in fact.

Because lukewarm poems are written with a first person voice

and a third person mentality.

Straddling past and present like a horse-shaped piñata

They look like it, but they aren’t going anywhere.

So whack me all the way back to Yesterday.

And savour the bitter-centered

Sugar-coated candy promises of

‘what wasn’t done yesterday will surely be done tomorrow!’

I’m straying.

Tomorrow I will cut myself.

Yes. Drag this sunset-stained knife

That has a sunrise for a handle,

And hack myself to see if this blood still runs red.

Yes Shylock,

If you cut a Jew, they will bleed.

Cut a black, they will bleed.

Cut a white, they will bleed.

Cut an Asian, they will bleed.

Cut a coloured, they will bleed.

Cut and we will bleed.

So come with me to tomorrow.

Where the blades of knives are made of sunlight.

Then we can begin to separate the weight of

Yesterday and Today-

As one would separate the spirit from the soul.

And we can write a courageous poem in blood red.

Fine, this last line is a cliché, but tomorrow

It won’t matter.

When the only democracy is shared humanity.

We can rewrite clichés as our own.

Because the only one waiting for us on that side of tomorrow

Is God.

And the doorman is Change-

Waving a sun-coloured flag…

Siphokazi Jonas

Occupation: Under Construction I am a spoken word artist, subject to God the Word. I write about the world above me, the world around me and the world within me. I am learning that my poems must always be bigger than me if ever they are to mean anything.

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