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Accra Wedding

The yellow sun had halved, and the year was indeterminate.

___I had crossed the ocean in reverse to meet him on the beach.

Our guests collected their bones from the floor and rose to greet me.

___A man with the surname Donkor (slave). Mine was Gargaɗi (caution).

___Sprung off how our darkness paired.

We spoke in Hausa, though through time we broke into trade language.

___For instance, in order to say, “I once loved you.”

_________We had a night wedding in the captive tradition.

______A separate ceremony for each just-acquired lord.

___For a wedding gift, each forged us an iron collar inscribed with gospel.

______To each we offered our declarations of fidelity.

___Our first dance happened in ankle fetters.

Our first dance had been our first touch. We whispered hurriedly of

___how long it had been since last we had seen each other.

We fed each other karkashi, burukutu, roast plantain, and fried pork back.

___We turned indoors where we claimed rhythm as our portion.

Fate coming soon to silhouette, we thought to hyphenate our destinations.

___I listened as our bone people shouted for him to break me for my blood.


Depraved Indifference

for Freddie Gray

since the king of any hood be he who best shuffles, shuttles

our hordes of undead: since torching the blazing bundle—

who promised, as a final gift, to be the first breath

of smog for mama’s remaining mornings: since eviction

be rule of law: bullets the gods—for their seizure, for

their thermodynamics, for their aching after praise and shout:

you and i are the taboo, queer for our clutch and seeing

i-against-i: since the blessing of forgiveness at every hastened

leaving: since the landlord’s sentinels ride rough to shatter

spines, lest the rest of us forget: since with any easy holler,

we too will be left twinless, clanless, privileged only the luck

of the riot, without any place at all to take our rest—