When African literature is published in the West, it is all too often realist, in English, and in the spirit of Chinua Achebe. But romance, science fiction, fantasy, epic, experimental poetry, satire, and political allegory all find expression in Africa, …
what is holy manna
if not the pills on my nightstand?
moses struck his stick on the rock
and xanax popped out.
it got rid of his stutter
and he looked pharaoh right in the eye.
the golden calf tempts …
While I am tweezing the first of three cactus needles stung into my right shoulder, my teeth furiously biting into a small rolled-up towel I’ve put in my mouth, I feel more certain than ever that Ma’s expensively exotic plant …
for a language i choose my grandmother’s
laugh always arriving a beat too late
a line stretched thin across the ocean & for
traditions i borrow a custom from budrus
of naming olive trees after mothers &
for countrymen …
Surgery is scheduled. I got the green light.
They’ll slice me open next Friday.
He says it will be dangerous.
I could die. The main worry
will be post-op blood clots.
One of those and I’d be a goner.
You are coming from your friend’s. It is Sunday. The date is the 9th of August. You have spoken about the far and near, you have indeed nattered. Y’know it is unusual to converse with an age mate in Rukiga. Nowadays …
Their daughter is born healthy but a little underweight. Five pounds six ounces, the father proudly repeats in his emails and reports to relatives on the phone. On the second day, before they leave the hospital, the mother notices a …
My mother digs up graves—
Revolutionary War era
whalers who doubled as spies
and outfoxed the British.
A consumptive farmer who wrote:
This year last we threshed hay.
Always she demands stories
her mother doesn’t care to tell.
Words surface …
Acknowledge that Mother isn’t taking her widowhood well, that something besides Father is missing. Take her for a drive along the coast. Listen to the screeching seabirds. Follow Mother’s pointing finger. Watch sun shift behind clouds, the coastline disappear. …
(after Stanley Moss)
If someone else is kissing you, death is real.
I want no others to know your mouth,
its clever tongue
traveling across my topography
the island of my moxie.
If someone else is kissing you,
then let …
A journey punctuated by stinks. Crossing a street in Jackson Heights in Queens mother and son drifted from open-sewer smell at one corner to the reek of piled garbage at the next. All manner of mechanized traffic on slush begrimed …