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Biltong

30 Jason de Stefano

Tell me again, that one about the dignity of being an object in its own right. Spell it out in a bird alphabet, then call me back from how it felt to be the queen of brunch that day the Rand fell out to twelve against the dollar. Flit until it doesn’t fit. Better yet, remember it in a belly letter procession no youth day parade would want, going forward, to be without. It passes out the frame you hung above the bed. Anecdotal canvases yet to be stretched; obloquy everywhere and no one to hear it. Your plastic affect always did advance a series of precious field notes. My sad meridians still torque the ends of whatever this means. I guess my depths, put to press, jettison my darlings in a fit. But you know this. Lace detail can kill if you can cut it. Buy three yards of dawn and hem that overactive recall, the one with the acid wash and “Gloria” scrawled in Sharpie on the crotch seam. Regular is cheaper, original more elegant. Either way it betrays a bias for small facets and even smaller names for them. The warp and weft of love ends in a tacky batik that I can’t help but wear. In a club mood customs seized my effects just long enough to listen to your Zulu mixtape while xenophobic panic settled like exhaust around the mine dumps and the CBD. At an altitude named for an illusion, an alchemy made so good on a promise it could never have disclosed, I learned to breathe selfishly, got released

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