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I pray thee, father, speak to the cursed clouds that bear thy son’s wish,
For this sick dome I know as home has stung lush lungs off my fish.
I try to leap into space, but strange songs sweep my eyes with sleep
And dreams drum distant dirges in shallow wells of waters deep.
This place I call home puffs cigarette fumes into my broken nose.
Mother! Please, plead my cause from yonder lands where thy old bones doze!

I beg the lurking rains to flood the doomed deserts of my flight,
But their tongues are drunk and they flee like the sun at night.
I look in the mirror and mute monkeys stare back at my pale face.
Can a frozen frog croak again to remain in the river’s race?
This place I call home spews flames to raze the rhythm of my soul
Amid the silent thunder of faceless ghosts as hot as burning coal.

How swift do I leap to reach the racing hands of the clock
Ever in sprinting cycles, crowing like a horny cock?
Take me to the buoyant fountains of a newfound beginning,
Lest this present turns an offspring of a past lost in meaning!
Let the bliss of morrow laughter warm my breath in bed,
For this place I call home is a fever in my head!

My eyes are dimly shut; visions are shattered in the stormy breeze.
I aim at a fleeing thief; brave bullets shiver and bleed and freeze.
I am a nursing mother, whose breasts are in want of milk,
A flowing lace robe that sprouts the foreign fibres of silk.
This place I call home has the yam and I, the knife.
Who then shall strike first; who dares to submit as wife?

Father! Pray, show me thy face, for I am trapped in my own web!
This place I call home is nothing but me –
That clumsy being that breathes inside of me!

Finalist of the Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BPPC), June 2018

Shortlisted for the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize (AJPP) 2018

Published in the BPPC 2018 Anthology — CITADEL OF WORDS

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I am a member of the WRR editorial team.

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