Britain lost America out of apathy


The discontinuing beat of my heart
fell not with a comma but a full stop.

Beneath the kopje-crest of Rhodesia
A palm lay to rest on the drum.

Glitter fell across my neck,
the blueness between the
clouds burnt your image
into my pupils.

They rose an ocean
rose upon a wave
clawed up the mast
spotted St Ascension

Could see him pacing
on the beach.

I brought a hand to
my chest to feel that –

Britain lost America
out of apathy
George Washington was
the only founding father
to free his slaves
upon his death

– Beating

I listen for the hollowness
the pond which lacked

the drop of rain
the gurgle of the fish
as it came up through the water

It wasn’t black
but a mine of West Griqualand
it sparkled
eight carats wide;

the fish giggled.

There is my comma
There is my caesura
my breath of grammar

There is my heart beating
a semi-colon
to tell me it almost

split apart
but managed
to hold itself together.