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"Combustion," a poem by Kobus Moolman


I burn easily, he said.

Even in a flood.

It’s always the eyes

that go first. Then the hair

on the back of my hands.

And before you know it,

I’m kneeling at the side

of some hotel bed,

a pair of brown legs

around my head. And

everything, everything

around and inside

and after me

is melting.


Kobus Moolman is head of Creative Writing at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He has published seven collections of poetry and two plays, and has edited a collection of poetry, prose and art by South African writers living with disabilities. He has won numerous local and international awards for his work. His first collection of short fiction, The Swimming Lesson and Other Stories, was published in 2017. His latest collection of poetry, The Mountain behind the House (Dryad Press), was published in 2020.

"Combustion" appears in Canopic Jar: an anthology

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