musings before a wakegrief is an inexhaustible resource
i swank mine like a bridesmaid’s bouquet
the boy in my family’s photograph lugs
a heartbreak the weight of history
the men at the remembrance
ask why my arms are so slender
why do i talk with a funny accent
how did a boy carve flowers from
my skin & why do i write about
countries stuck in the throats of
fatherless boys & why are my arms
so slender & why are my eyes so
white & why do i talk about grief
like a girl talks about her husband’s
mistress, what do i know to write poems
about a boy who last week livestreamed
but the boy in my family’s photograph is
not a boy does not process this silence
bursting from his skin like aurora wiping
the mess of a drunkard’s slumber.
Michael Emmanuel is a publishing Editor at Itanile. He is a previous winner of the Shuzia Creative Writing Contest (2020) and the Quramo Writers Prize (2018). He was a finalist for the Awele Creative Trust Prize 2020 and the Stephen A. Dibiase Poetry Contest. His works have appeared in Kalahari Review, The African Writers Review, Afritondo, Jalada Mag, perhappened mag, and other places. He is on Twitter: @mikey_emmanuel.
Banner Art: “Carnations” a VISPO by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2021 Twitter: @frede_kenter.