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Ghazal with Open Throat

— chekwube o. danladi

The libations flowed but the ancestors refused to part their lips for it. Yet,
when withheld from them, they drowned in absent dreams for generations to come.

When she touches my               I ask her to call it my               so dreaming doesn’t stop.
The sound getting sutured to birth again, affirmed until time’s choice comes.

Meaning to tempt with a tamer claim, these days I ask only for the very least.
The beef is only with selfhood, how pleasure gets made carceral for nights to come.

When she calls me               I ask her to say it like               which is closer to real meaning.
Since claiming absentia’s desperate purity, keeping it casual comes true.

When called home I say: who is she? I don’t know her. I ain’t even from here, yet
I roll through your hood so clean—so polite—even your ma think it’s to her porch I’ve come.

When she parts my               what flutters hardens as               to sustain my ills.
The body’s boldest tricks fool even the fooler, utters the fool when a full mouth comes.

It’s inherited, this desire to press the cuffs to exposed wrist, demand you be my captor.
Pre-emptive permission, so now when the call sounds, I’m under no orders to come.


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