Dead But Breathing

By Vuvu Vena

Sarah don’t live here no more
I lost her on the road from teenager to
20 something
She kept giving herself to every man that
Looked her way
And eventually depleted her reservoir
Sarah don’t live here no moreBut I remember how she was
Before she up and left
In her prime
Sarah was the talk of the town
A lady whose beauty was a secret
Hidden in thick lines of black eyeliner
And brisk strokes of mascara that came
As second nature
A doll whose nails were always
Done to complement her hair
She never left the house looking
Anything less than perfect

Her red sole heels, courtesy of Jabu
Her black Jenni Button Suite, thank you Sipho
Her Brazilian hair, bought by KB
Her manicure and pedicure from the friend-zoned Msira

That Sarah, when she still breathed
In these parts
No man whose blood still pumped on his veins didn’t know her
But Sarah don’t live here no more
Her face a melting bar from the make-up that hid her for years
Daily Dark streaks of running mascara and eyeliner
The cheapest in the market
Follow her tears

Seven mouths yelling ‘mommy!’
Seven daddies each
The fame and the ride
Not even a sweet memory
As no-one who really counts
Recalls any favours from Sarah

The envy on people’s faces in her prime
Has turned to pitty Sarah no longer leaves her house
Curtains drawn Another bun baking in the oven
A cigarette stained with red lipstick in her hand
Black streaks on her face
A whiskey glass next to the ashtray
And seven fatherless brats
Social grant for each
With no prospect of an education
Tell of what used to be Sarah

Sarah don’t live here no more
You might find her in your little black book
Your photo album
Among your one night stands
Or maybe even in your to-do list

Sarah don’t live here no more
I done murdered that bitch years ago!