A POEM BY ESEOHE ARHEBAMEN A.K.A EDOHEART
Spent my birthday in a waiting room
six hours deplumed except thin sheath of scrub
sands me down to nub Oh god but how I’m failing
down. Flayed to the bone, I’m bone bare nerve and stone
Nurse pokes behind the screen
“Saturday, you jam like flies.” Inside, my bee chums
swarm the surgeon praying for snipsnip
to free us. Thirty green girls jostling for our tangled names
listing on our plastic seats pinkblue, jampacked
holding closed our sickness clothes
Now swapping how we hid how much we had
to pee or spit or scratch or faint
at work to fake like big-dicked men.
This floozy next to me wafts thick
She’s something wrong I wonder if the prick was drunk,
how she’s too young and shift my seat before
the knocked-up sharp-nose heave-hos empty out my throat.
Picketing outside you won’t hear
how I was raped when I was five they spooned
red pepper into my eyes. Barefoot in the pots
I took up screaming. Or you’ve been here
once yourself It’s not so bad
They puppet your legs tell you slide down
your easy ass. Further please, the very edge.
They don dead fingers, snap-on-a-clamp;
command you relax your cunt or count
down. (The nurse moves rough: a metered stunt.)
I understand there’s hundreds more
to come. I lid my eyes. I’d hate to point
my anger at you, bitch.
A black man comes in wielding sleep.
He’s pissed at me and stays icelipped
(I slipped?) He tourniquets my arm
ties on a rubber tight, fair shears it off
jabs in a draught of night like that!
no proses and I’m died
Lightbulb: O Look
the extend of my arm
O swim this wave
the leaving room
two forms sit slumped
OH DO NOT RISE
and turn me off
I love thee sight of mites and dust
crevices I cannot touch o
let me glove this dark
One month past
I haven’t ceased the bleed
I’m cut, the blood flows thin
I don’t believe in God
I’m shut I don’t forget to wake
at four amen, pine in the dark
for nothing, no reason at all.
Artwork © Erin Solomons