make them start with moving backwards
into compressible fists of clouds:
For Aunt Mar’yam
(skip: of the sex scenes)
Mother appears now as before. She drags leukaemia like cigarette smoke
sleeps in the space between musical intermissions
but the second time does not count: first foot gets to God first
as always, (as she just said).
And again I’m a child,
must rise at first light, to a fatherless daybreak and food the colour of mascara
And become cancerous too, presurgical, etherized on the livingroomcouch.
We let our faith hide within little things, the sheik whined into a mic,
down town, years before, inbetween exorcisms,
for this is where God hides to keep watch
and absolve sins in his own name, or make them
cheaply, as sculpting life into an angel of death
but you see, nothing isn’t having no drinks to get drunk on
doing nothing is to unlearn silence, again to wash yourself clean, as vaginal walls
after an xraying aunt has whispered between probes,
‘your penis(n’t) just a tender skinfold,
you’re a symphony of muezzins, you sound the adhan at a masjid,
fivehourly, you invite me to worship’
repeat my penis(n’t) the point
(cut and paste: how to catch a fleeing innocence)
we pretend she never came, by the way
you see, nothing counts after first foot.
I eat her through next week, with salt for taste.
Chisom Okafor temporarily lives and writes in Lagos, Nigeria. He is currently working on his debut chapbook. His works have been published or are forthcoming in various literary forums.