Discovering women

Written by: De Waal Venter

In 1950 the boy's world
was mostly populated by women.
Men were there as well
but they were like forces of nature
dark, incomprehensible, moving around
making deep sounds.

Women had red painted nails,
they had permed hair,
they had bosoms
smelling of babies.
They spoke often, mostly pleasantly,
their words left a dryish lipstick taste
on the boy's lips.
When they kicked off their high heels
the damp odour
of their nylon stockinged feet
had a strange allure.

There were little girls,
small feral things
with glittering, gathering eyes
and they sometimes bit.

The boy wanted one of these
but did not know how to acquire her.
So he touched her hair
and she slapped him away.

That night he slept with the sting
of her eyes
cuddled in his arms.