cataloguing death
 
cracked eggs / patched-up skin
honey jar
         salt acid
two tourniquets
         some statuettes / a silhouette
& a shadow
& a gangrened foot
& a carcass
& a bier approaching . . .
                  cracked as an egg
         pawprints
bouffages





 

Portrait of a Girl as a Phoenix

You see, my dad told this  story first. Before my fingers
learnt   to      crawl   into     a    woman's        underwear
Before       the world      started      calling     boys  brhoe
Before      a      pandemic     escaped      the palms of the
Almighty. Before grief    got hold of a boy & moulded
him in its own image    even all the poor innocent boy
cared about was to collect salty liquid from his sister's
tear duct          to fill the residual jars his mother's tears
couldn't fill.   What       he    collected          to prepare a
concoction.  made from fluids from a girl's sore injury
 
—a bruised skin her father never noticed till she became
 
the danger which raged her in the   first place. Somewhere
south of here, there is a girl  named Gladys who the world
assumes to be    crying wolf. I   wonder what becomes of a
girl with thorns for hair &   green for complexion or what
becomes of a  girl confusing   fire for light  &  light for fire
I wonder what becomes of the girl's body & from a    bivy
far away, I watch her ascend  into the night sky like angels
The winter     solstice moon casts a shadow on her like the 
appended signature of a      doctor on a death certificate &
when I    see her in a new light, mirth  conquers the world

Author’s Biography

Olaitan Humble is a Pushcart-nominated writer of African heritage. He is an aviphile and pacifist who enjoys reading satire, and collecting quotations and astrophotos. His work appears in CP Quarterly, The African Writers Review, Luna Luna Magazine, Nymphs, AGNG, Ninshar Arts, and Doubleback Review, among others. IG/Twitter: @olaitanhumble.

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