MY TWENTY-SIX

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

Malise RosbechComment