Illustration by Pranav Kapil

The Rank by Thato Angela Chuma


Illustration by Pranav Kapil
Illustration by Pranav Kapil

The city pours itself here;
within the damp smell of roasting maize,
sweat,
and the snores of taxis and combis
travelling on half-dressed roads.

The city meets itself here;
Where the air holds every scent
Where mothers find hope in their vegetables,
And everything is known to be cheaper–
‘A hub of solutions for poor people’
God does not exist here,
Only sweat

Here,
Many layers of survival
Meet in their silences
Many lives are stitched together
You meet the hustler, the dreamer, and the forgotten
And those that wander
In the spell of their lives.


About the Author

Angela Chuma

“The Rank is a short poem about encounters at the Gaborone Bus Station.”

Thato Angela Chuma is a Motswana singer, poet and writer. Her poetry has featured in literary magazines such as Saraba Magazine, Brittle Paper, Strange Horizons and The Kalahari Review.


About the Illustrator

Pranav Kapil

Pranav Kapil likes to dabble in many forms of art, photography, painting, doodling, writing, etc. Creating art as he says is a personal necessity. mostly it is a pursuit of finding the ideal escapist distraction. He admits to being greatly influenced by Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka and Arthur Rimbaud. He is also a big foreign film buff and a foodie.


The Rank is one of the many amazing submissions we have received so far for the second edition of the literary collection The Machinery. You can read the first edition here.

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