“Like a candle in the wind”, so we blow out the flame of our life

It’s so difficult, this living thing

two decades are sometimes

more than one can bear

heavy years of empty searching

lonely rambling

some scars are too deep

Even for poetry


That third decade feels

like a lifetime away

like millions of breaths away

too many years awake

Maybe a drink might help


Where is Tracy’s Fast Car

when curtains are drawn

laying on the floor

blade in my hand

the clock moves backwards

Something’s gotta give, this has to end


It’s so lonely, this living thing

one night can sometimes be


minutes of many hours

even seconds are haunting

A black hole of aloneness


Death is the final poem


Courtesy of the author

Link to the Italian translation

vangile gantsho is a South African poet, healer and co-founder of impepho press. She started to write poems and stories when she was a child. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Undressing in front of the window (2015) e red cotton (2018).

Actively involved with several (black) feminist movements in South Africa, she is interested in personal and political writing.

As she explaines in her blog, she wrote this poem after knowing about the suicide of a young and talented poet, Ayanda “Juba” Lushaba: “Many people are quick to judge suicide, calling people cowards and selfish.  The truth, though, is suicide is never an easy decision, taken lightly over a glass of wine.  Unless you have been suicidal, I don’t think you can truly understand what it’s like to be in such darkness and to feel so lonely that you cannot stand another breath“.

vangile writes that she herself attempted suicide several times when she was younger and that medical treatment and her inner healing process saved her.


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