you are in the diode archives fall 2010



Memorizing Poems

It is no different than lighting a candle. And, holding it high. To see better, the inner door way of the heart: Its red knob. Framed trellis. And the names of ancestors. Penciled in yellow and purple calligraphy.

Holding that lit candle, the door melts. And you find yourself in the market of an ancient city: Teeming with people of all ethnicity. Peddling tomatoes. Onions. Silks. Winged sandals. Drums. Saffron. Milk . . .

You walk around for hours. Till tired, you sit on a bench. Then, notice. In an empty stall away from the noise. A girl, wearing braids. Playing with her veil. The way your mother did. When about her age. 


This Woman with the Issue of Blood

Given her country. Time. She has winged maxi-pads. Pony-stamped tampons. But wouldn’t mind. Nor, would I. If some messiah

Opened our door. Raised his hands. Said: ‘Do you believe child.’ She, ‘Yes, lord’. He, ‘You’re healed. Go, and sin no more’.

Then, Holy Midol. That disciple so terrible at its calling. Would shrivel in the prison walls of the cupboard and collect dust.

Not to mention St. Tylenol. Who we’d manacle. Blindfold. March to the edge. Then kick, into the water-filled funnel.

Then she—you. Wouldn’t feel an urge this month, to knife my suit. All for a milk grime [spilled yesterday]. In one of your shoes

But, hold me gently against your small breasts. As I lick their wet boulders. Broken trees. Hot sands. And drying seas, instead.


Telling Your Life Story to a Dog

You begin with that moment in grade school. When, sitting in the middle row. You dropped your lunch money by the popular girl’s desk. And bent, for that glorious chance to glimpse her pink polka-dotted underwear.

You don’t leave out that afternoon, when food fight turned sour. And the pupils in class, after being asked how it began. Broke from silence. Pointed at you,  saying ‘yes, he was the first to spray water and throw rice.’

And you continue about how, instead of copying down three syllable words in class. You drew stick figures of you and your big breasted teacher. Wearing ski masks. Breaking into banks. Making away with quinzillion dollars

Entering your super-duper house. She, Bonnie. You, Clyde. She, ripping open your pants. You, her blouse. Having a long sex-bout. Resting on your mega-fantastic couch. Then mounting each other again, and riding for hours.

You go on and on about barely being able to read. And how little you cared, back then for those stupid books on science experiments and hygiene…

Only hours later, do you realize your old friend—the dog. Much unconcerned with your story, but too polite to leave. Is resigned beside you asleep. His food bowl empty. His new flavored bone chewed thin.

You cover him with blankets. Turn off the lights. And walk quietly, outside.


And They Lived Happily Ever After

Doesn’t mean they are in the room right now. Naked. Wrestling. Saying: ‘You like that.’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Go slower?’ ‘Pound it.’

Or that his gaze at this maid’s pointed breasts. Or that one’s. So full against her cheap dress. Is a mistake. A chance occurrence.

But that. Just three years after going door to door with the glass slipper. Testing each maiden’s foot, to find his mystery woman

He’s the one fat from inactivity. Boring from the same speech. Remarkably dull in his musings. And she. Once he starts snoring

Will again slip through doors. Past corridors. Into a room, with another male servant. Where, unlike the ones from nights previous

She hopes to be thrown to the floor. The royal bra ripped from her chest. Her legs spread. Hemmed. And pinned against the wall.  


Abayomi Animashaun’s volume of verse, The Giving of Pears, is available through Black Lawrence Press.