where i come from,
there’re boys growing to resemble empty rooms.
boys who are improper fractions,
searching for solitude in homes that
can’t resist the urges to burn a body desiring
for things that live to become a curse.
to live is to dress your truth with silence,
to not hold a fellow boy & call him mine.
say by being black & also a gay is a twofold anguish—
by being black:
the world takes you through a shortcut to
vanishing / teaches you to write dead
on your skin / & then to become a flower
fading towards heaven
by being gay:
you always find your voice picking a crescendo
of grief / the universe tries to pray you into your
father’s image when you’d already happened a
but before you dared to be a butterfly,
you had left your body at the sea
& begged the water to claim your name.
to love is to breathe,
two broken boys with a common loneliness
moaning into each other in the dark—
god silhouetting against the firmament the
wonder they’ve made.
to love is to happen,
forgetting old songs that leave scars
in your heart.
LOVE – Sonia Murray
Hassan A. Usman, pen-named Billiospeaks, is 2/4 of Next Generational Poets. He studies Counselor Education at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He fills up emptiness by writing poems and by singing aloud. His works are/forthcoming in SprinNG, IceFloe Press, Five South, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Lunaris Review, The Shallow Tales Review, and elsewhere. He’s on Twitter and Instagram: @Billio_speaks.
Banner Art: Love, a visual poem by Sonia Murray. Sonia Murray was born in London, England & has lived and raised her family in multiple countries including England, Canada, Brazil, and, most recently, the US. She is a painter, photographer, collage artist, sculptor and stone carver. Her work is exhibited in Florida, incl. 3 solo shows. She has collaborated with poets, modern dancers, and other photographers. Her work has been featured at www.aamora.com, a website for international photographers, writers and artists. A large part of her work is dedicated to focusing on improving our world and appreciating the beauty surrounding us. Twitter: @Mu03841066Sonia.