On Chinese New Year
a rare welcome. Johannesburg
sheds its barriers and forgets time spent
forging them. Gone are sterile sidewalks,
instead, a familiar crunch of firework
underfoot. We visitors lay cautious
claim to the city as a sometimes
home. We wander in and out
of tea shops wrapped in red and gold;
these century-old institutions.
The pork buns burn our mouths
in our hurry to savor.
The fireworks shoot up. The host teaches us
to say wo ai ni. Dust rains into our eyes.