hope falls like rotten mangoes

hope falls like rotten mangoes

hope falls like rotten mangoes 1920 1909 Wale Ayinla

i was born with a dead dialect sewn to my skin
having a specialty for its translation.

a dragon shelters in my house and my room
is always a furnace leveled down.

the boy in the mirror sees, first, a scarcity
before his mother

makes him a supper of bone flakes with a bowl
of salt water.

how closed is my mouth when i yell grief
out of my sweat.

my mother rebukes me for mingling in the dark–
i complain i was christened with it.

today, i fling tailored lungs threaded with silence.
the underside of my lips is rancorous.

the origin of rot is history   & my mother takes
a shiver to the stream   making all footsteps

thump back as a howl.

Header photograph © Monica Denevan.

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