A Zanzibari Madman


Of the twenty of us, more or less
You choose me, and me alone ""
Why was that I wondered, for a time?
I was the long-haired youth,
the white mzungu, "jesus" as they called me.
On the soft shores of Zanzibar, you stood and pointed at me,
What did you say when you screamed at me with the full-
ness of your rage and madness?
I try to recall. (Whether Kiswahili or English)
For a while I was rattled, while
I sat on the deck of the sailboat on the way to snorkel
You said something about America,
something about a devil,
something about me.
That much I remember.
And since then I often wondered if perhaps you weren't so mad...
After all.

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