the year i stop watching television by Saaro Umar

there is a black line under my fingernail
i’ve started praying again

i keep the same lover for five years
he watches films

with guns
& white men

he sits in an office chair
always something occupying his hands

i sit in the corner &
ask myself how my day was

in a dream i paint an impression of the Mona Lisa
smear black ink across her forehead

i’ve grown to muting the radio on the hour
count to 50 three times before turning it on again

my lover says the people crying over their lost land
can’t feel the spirits no more

*

there is no line under my fingernail
i keep my prayers in a jar by the bed

i’ve left my lover of five years
he sits in an office chair

always something occupying his hands
the poem asks:

how long you been sleeping
in a dream i

enter a hotel in Alice Springs
a young girl with five hands smiles at me from the bed

i count to 50 three times when the
bodies start filling my feed

my ex says the people crying over their lost land
can’t feel the spirits no more

but what if they are flying

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saaro Umar is an Oromo poet living on Ngunnawal country. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Woroni, Australian Poetry, Demos, Voiceworks and Shabby Dollhouse. She was awarded the 2017 Dorothy Hewitt Fellowship for outstanding manuscript. You can find her at @saaroumarr.

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