NoViolet Bulawayo

Diaspora ’08

illegal, visas expired,
we perch like lost doves
on frosted branches
of alien trees whose names
we don’t know, lands
and lands away from home,
we are the strange, foreign fruit.

we laugh into our armpits
so we are not heard,
walking like the winds –
breathing like stones
to stay unseen.

like starved mongrels,
we run to unwanted jobs
we mind crazies, clean poop
in nursing homes, break backs
push, shove, anything
we will do anything
to western union money home
to waiting, famished families.

dizzy for the homeland,
we google, we facebook, we msn
we see violence, cholera outbreaks,
hunger, Aids, human rights violations
we log off, hang our heads in pain,
sleep with eyes wide open,
we dream in tears, Jesus we dream
in tears.

noviolet bulawayo
NoViolet’s story ‘Hitting Budapest’ won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, The Warwick Review, Callaloo, as well as in anthologies in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the UK.
She earned her MFA at Cornell University where her work has been recognized with a Truman Capote Fellowship. NoViolet was born and raised in Zimbabwe.

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