& she shall be named beautiful – A Poem by Osahon Oka w/ a Visual Collaboration by Moira J. Saucer and Robert Frede Kenter

& she shall be named beautiful

She 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.

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