You are so far away, and yet
I close my eyes and I can smell
the wood fires, diesel fumes, the sweat
from bodies pressed against you in the taxi.
I taste the red-brown dust
which covers everything this time of year.
At night I hear the buzzing by your ears,
the unrelenting yelps-yaps-growls-snarls-yips
of mongrels fighting in the street;
somewhere a woman yells, a child cries,
a radio attempts to drown them out,
its rhythm wrapped in reggae roots,
the beat of Africa
that travels far into the night,
so far, in fact, that I can hear the drums
as they invade the silence of my room
and keep time with my heart until you’re home.