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This poem is taken from PN Review 132, Volume 26 Number 4, March - April 2000.

Three Poems Tatamkhulu Afrika

Devil in the Stone

Sometimes I think I glimpse
a glitter of its glance within my own,
an insolence in a smile that is not mine,
and know, then,
that the bold-eyed devil my heart hides
is wanting to be out
of the straitening stone that would have me believe
that I and it are one,
that all I am is a stone.

But my blood knows,
as do my nerve-ends,
even my passionless amends,
eddying, wavering,
with a life that is the variable wind's,
that I am cunningly other; am
desires that I laser in the womb,
or let be born though they are doomed
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