a mother weeps for her children
dispersed in the air by the bombs.
she breathes them in with the smell of burnt flesh.
her voice is hoarse from ululations.
mourners force platitudes down her throat.
death came visiting and left behind heaps
of charred bodies and bleached bones.
like the city thrown into darkness by the failed
Power Holding Company, the lights are gone from her eyes.
these are the tourist attractions of this country.
come and experience death in all its naked glory.
feel it in the air. taste its silken smoothness on your tongue.
hear it in the music and dance.
watch us gyrate to discordant tunes,
nimble feet made light by psychotic introversion.
our reality is like a hazy dream.
drums of war serve to lighten our dead souls.
our hoarse hollow laughter echoes
in the empty chamber of federalism.
this country is a woman weeping for her children.
a mother must not know her children’s grave.
she must hold on instead to memories of birth pains
and life’s piercing cries.
and become another, dead alive.
> Published first in Nailed Magazine.
Tag: a writer’s lair
with every layer of clothing removed
desire peels off the restraint
caution is carelessly tossed
with the last lacy barrier
to the floor. ethanol kindles
a raging fire.
there is a familiarity to the dance
choreographed in the dark
punctuated by gasps for air
& the creaking bedspring
a symphony of applause greets
the curtain call from residues of
past encounters on satin sheets
& creamy walls.
the walk of shame starts at sunrise.
photophobia, migraines & coffee for
breakfast. a mid-morning snack of
safety concerns. at lunch, twangs of
regret. skip dinner with soul-searching
head for the bar instead for a repeat
performance with history
i am losing you.
i can hear it in the creaking
noise the doors of your eyes
make, slowly sliding shut.
the same noise that the bedroom door makes
when you sneak out of bed
to cheat on your diet.
the light is fading from your voice
& when you smile, gusts of cold wind
raise goosebumps on my skin.
it is like autumn in June
& i scramble for warmth
when you touch me, it feels like a visit
to the doctor, spread-eagled
& getting a physical;
impersonal. methodical. clinical.
gloves providing a physical barrier.
when you are through, I stand up
& clean up
& wait for you to look at me
you say all is well, that it is nothing
& i remember how the doctor said the same
words three months before my breasts were
removed. i know the words very well
that nothing is euphemism for loss
i know all about survival rates
& dates with counselors
but i don’t know how to pick
the deadbolt lock of your heart.
first published here
Look! the sky is shedding her skin
unto branches of trees grown lean
the season of merriment is in.
peering faces break out in a grin
behind clouding windows taking in
the beautiful scene:
like a thousand little lights, softly falling
covering the city with a blanket of white
our perfect lives is a well made-up face
wrinkle lines fixed by Botox.
zoom in to see the crow’s feet hiding
among the photoshopped pixels.
somewhere beneath the filters
our cracks lie buried.
we hide our doubts in silences
muzzling our tongues from spilling
& sedate our aching hearts with morphine;
fingers frantically working the pump,
till they go limp
& we slump into euphoria.
we trick our brain into forgetting.
shackled, we sing songs of slavery,
wading in the water of daydreams
while our nightmares becomes reality
& torment us when we slip into ourselves
worn out from the rigors
of appearing to be.
we act our script, repeating recycled lines,
& leave the stage, leaving you aching
for our burnished emptiness.
we sell gold plaited dreams in sepia
your touch lit a fire in my soul
now it glowers
now it melts
under my skin
bright red incandescence
like gold free
from impurities I gleam
and steal the sun’s glory
he touched you,
unlocked the door into you
and showed you
how you had been living
on the porch thinking
all this while that the boundaries
of you stopped at the threshold.
he took you by the hand and led
you into yourself and you gasped
staring at the beauty of your soul.
something broke inside of you then,
your tears flowed down your cheeks
into your open mouth. you became
drunk on freedom.
up until that moment, you did not know
how to be, but as the salty taste
of your tears flowed into you,
your joints loosened. you began to sway
to the music in your head.
you realized that your body is a jukebox
and all you needed to sing was a quarter.
sometimes it takes the right soul
to find the slot in your heart
to put the coin in and fill your whole body
with music. but like all good things
there is always an end and when the
music stopped, he was gone,
leaving you an empty house full of echoes