Diane Awerbuck
Diane Awerbuck

Miriam Makeba’s Leopard-Print Dress

On stage before the velvet drop, three men hidden by your hips, instrumental ciphers — double bass, guitar, drums — they strum; you stroll and roll your eyes.

Say them slow — Saar-tjie Baart-man, Jo-se-phine Ba-ker, Grace Al-mighty Jones — the old flesh over new bones, that puzzling Three-in-One.

Pray for us, Miriam, pray for our sticks and stones, clicking your fingers, clicking your tongue, until something in us clicks too: the sound of pieces falling into place, the sound of that thing that you do.