& she shall be named beautifulShe did not want this the gods never listen—
the babe in her arms was a silent accusation.
Wet wings flapped the window pane—some
angel fallen with the storm. In the sky winged
insects battered into puddles waiting for
fluorescence to make them dance
entranced until death. She watched the
flicker of eyelids the wide stare so knowing
the sudden yawn & felt her heart trip
on its feet. Oh she did not want this. The
storm ceased its squabbling the sun warmed
the bed she held her index finger inside
her babe’s small grip—so perfect she said.
Beautiful I name you she whispered.
He came in a wet work doors barking at his
heels sighted her—a girl again he said.
Flippant we will call her Something must kill
a man he said. She flinched her heart torn
a scream full with anger on her breast.
He left his absence warm welcome & her
baby winked smiled & she caught it a
chuckle—a secret yes your name shall
be our thing our bond beautiful.
Osahon Oka is a Nigerian of Bini/Kwale descent. He holds a degree in English and Literary Studies. Writing is experimentation and escape from misery for him. A Best Of the Net nominee, his works are on Down River Road Review, Ghost Heart Lit, Dust Poetry Magazine and elsewhere and forthcoming on Lit Quarterly and Jalada Africa. He serves as a Review Correspondent with Praxis Magazine and his debut, a collection of short stories is forthcoming on Praxis Books. He can be reached on twitter at: @osahonoka.
Banner Art: Beautiful Promise, a visual collaboration. Drawing: Moira J. Saucer, Collage elements: Robert Frede Kenter.