Moderately being gawped at

A Poem

By Sinenhlanhla MlilowokuNqoba MaPhezabantu

I am stumbling upon myself
After realising the difference
In my disposition and interests
To those apparent to be peers
The late blooming followed by
Bursts of hysterical laughter
The lack of self-expression
Which leads to the misinterpretation
Of self by onlookers
After the failure of
Turpentine injection to the vein
The cuts that sting but heal
The snorting of Disprin
Not for the ceasing of a life but
For the thrill of the pain and the
Almost black out

To ignoramuses all this is humorous
The excessively continuous weight gain
I attempt an explanation but
It falls into deaf ears
These school drop outs
Do not believe that I have a mental illness
The bulge in my abdomen
The extra fat all over my body
Has them convinced I have conceived
A neighbour once called me outside
To interrogate me
He began, Sinenhlanhla
What kind of life do you lead?
I have never seen or heard
That you are involved romantically
You do not go to church
You do not attend traditional ceremonies
What do you do with your time?
He was stupor drunk
So I took no offence at all
I read, I analyse, I study and I excel
That’s what I do with my time

Many think me to be stuck up
Many think I am of no use as a young woman
They don’t see me going to the river or starting a fire
They don’t see me at a tavern or
Embarking on the walk of shame
At four o’clock in the morning
It’s not that I don’t indulge
In youthful activities I do but
With the constant reminder to not
Do anything I will regret
Sometimes I wish to open my mouth and
Let words tumble into the wilderness of life but
My tongue freezes in its track
All my younger sisters have boyfriends but
Me the eldest still dreams of it
They tell me my time will come but
By that time I have already made myself cum