Some mothers set their daughters alight to keep their men warm.

and some family members would rather describe the smoke than smell like it.

  • sometimes [hell] is a penis
  • sometimes [girls] repent just to save themselves from encountering the devil
  • sometimes [uncle] is a boyfriend. a random. a test you will keeping taking but always fail
  •  sometimes [uncle] is a siren in some living rooms
  • sometimes [uncle] is an aircon everyone is too lazy to adjust or switch off
  • sometimes [the daughters] are not left alone with him
  • but [he] is not banned from family gatherings, either
  • sometimes [collateral damage] is another way of saying:
  • I am a coward


Many things are cultural. Like:

  • oppikoppi
  • nike
  • theatre
  • afrikaburn
  • church
  • crop tops

sometimes [rape] is placed in the same sentence as:

  • alleged
  • consent
  • culture

rape culture:

a term that makes the act seem

  • something you could wear (voluntarily)
  • or wash
  • or take off
  • or drop off at the laundry
  • or buy tickets to see
  • or an experience you are excited to tweet about
  • or a meme that goes viral
  • or something whites anticipate to appropriate
  • or a zol passed around at a bonfire
  • or salt at the dinner table


  • forks scraping empty plates is a soundtrack for when that uncle enters the room
  • nobody wants to do the dishes until the secret slips
  • the womxn in the family would rather toil in the kitchen than crucify their
  • husbands or brothers or sons or respected elders
  • (sometimes) hell is burning between their thighs, too
  • (sometimes) they can no longer find salvation in their vows
  • but the gospel has taught them how to stay
  • even when the devil is the one promising eternity
  • it’s easier to hold the [child] accountable for a ‘’lie’’ than it is to hold the [uncle] accountable for the truth
  • the [children] play hide-n-seek and find grown people’s things in forbidden rooms
  • the [family] is not interested in the nightmares they have thereafter


  • no one wants to have x-mas dinner with skeletons
  • and, anyway
  • the [girls] were warned
  • hide-n-seek is for heathens
  • and [girls] should not be out so late playing with men boys


somewhere, a loud sigh finishes this with oh dear God, please! not another rape poem.

Reference list/bibliography

  • X-mas gathering
  • Patriarchs
  • Uncle So-and-So
  • Boyfriend #6
  • Inyamezelo
  • Imbokodo
  • Proverbs 31
  • Sistah Bettina
  • Delilah
  • Black Solidarity
  • Apologists
  • The neighbours can never see your dirty laundry
  • Bazothini abantu syndrome
  • It is the Model C school (we sent you to)
  • #NakedProtests
  • Sjamboks
  • Vaginas with emergency signs
  • Miniskirts
  • Drunk girls
  • Campus
  • Hoes
  • Twerking
  • Slutty behaviour
  • Sluts in general
  • Matric dance
  • Serving that uncle a glass of water
  • Hug uncle
  • Greet uncle
  • Stop being funny
  • Stop being antisocial
  • Give uncle a kiss
  • Sit on uncle’s lap

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