The prestigious Dalro (Drama and Lyrics Rights Organisation) Award for 2009 has gone to Arja Salafranca for her poem 'Steak' in the literary journal New Coin. Read more here
There’s a perfection in the sharp knife,
handle thick and satifying to hold.
It eases through the meat, parting it
like the Red Sea.
A thin trail of red juice eases out,
I spear the soft buttery steak
with a mushroom, add a half-moon of avocado,
a quartered tomato.
The food shatters in my mouth.
There’s something about summer nights,
the kind of nights that follow days
in a city that reeks of boiled bodies
crisping under the sun’s glare.
There’s something: the lack of breeze,
the water in the pool. gleaming bluely,
the soft murmur of traffic.
It’s an island, an oasis, the lawn jewelled green.
Candles illuminate our faces
the silver, the sparkling cutlery,
the sheer perfection of knife, fork, crystal glass,
steak, salad, speared food, shattered tastes.
At the bottom of a garden,
in the heart of Johannesburg.