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Letter to Professor Bheki

Sir, your eyes remind me of the men in the city who’s dreams were over shadowed by the skyscrapers .

These men do not look lost,  they know the city very well.  They pass by the same buildings that took away their light and they stand before buildings in despair,  hopeless almost as if to say ” look,  this is what you have made of me,an empty man”.  And the buildings stand taĺl and certain paying no attention to them,  the buildings do not answer to anyone,  but they open their electronic doors at 9o’clock and up they go, freshly packed optimistic men gobbled up by the machine.  It swallows them up and ruffles them up like pulleys. Then at noon, zombies,  bodies stepping out as if blind,  they come out raggedy on the inside,  chewed up and spat out before the 6th hour.

I see these men in you.  The death of their passions lying heavily on your shoulders. The other day I sat in class and wondered if you had kids,  if you were religious,  if your wife had picked that shirt out for you, if she had ironed it and buttoned it up as she told you to try and have a good day that morning. Professor,  I tried to imagine a life for you,  a specific reason that made you want to wake up in the morning.  That you were doing this for your kids, for them to live the life you never could,  that perhaps you kept your beard to hold on to the bit of manhood the skyscrapers had left you with the day put out all the fire in you.

I do not wish that you point me to the machine that systematically drained you out, the gravesite of your aspirations.  I do not wish to know the ones who buried you alive.   I do not know if I have the fight in me to conquer them. I fear that they may have already conquered me too. Leave me in denial, everymorning, persue to fuel the bit of passion sizzling inside of us.

But i want to tell you that you do not have to stay.

You cannot try and live in a period of time that has wringed you dry without being aware of its oppression.  You cannot simply accept this life.  You have to try and devise another narrative.  Perhaps this time not for yourself alone,  but for the sake of our dreams too,  for the sake of the bon fire that will become of our eyes.

Build your own machine to house our kind of light. Or perhaps teach us how to do it ourselves.  How to build a monster of a machine that will  not die out by lighting up the rest of the city.

For the sake of life, say all of this in the language you have had to erase every morning. Say it with your chest.  Say it with your entire body.  Teach us how to become the nuclear.

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