Photo credit: Joan Sorolla. Source: Flickr.

Love does not want this body,
this mouth, toothless maw, hanging open

& belonging to nobody’s son.
The father died & I became nobody.

In Yoruba, a father is a name &
the left hand is taboo. One cannot offer

water with the left hand or sleep
facing upward. At night, a witch

will sit on your chest. A knife tearing
into a knife. My left hand only knows

to open itself when I need to bleed.
My left hand only knows to heal fast.

I touch the boy I want to love, hold him
in my left hand & he becomes unsacred.

Love is my left hand closing itself
into a fist. Love is taboo. Love is

something I put in my mouth to suffocate me
before the witch’s smother.

Love is the hand belonging to nobody.
I swallow with my throat still closed. The body

rejects the fist.

 

 

**************

About the Author:

Logan February is a happy-ish Nigerian owl who likes pizza & typewriters. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vagabond City, Wildness, Glass, and other outlets. His chapbook, Painted Blue With Saltwater (Indolent Books), is forthcoming in 2017. Say hello on Instagram & Twitter @loganfebruary.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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