Bullet Points & Other Poems

by Jericho Brown

Bullet Points
I will not shoot myself
In the head, and I will not shoot myself
In the back, and I will not hang myself
With a trashbag, and if I do,
I promise you, I will not do it
In a police car while handcuffed
Or in the jail cell of a town
I only know the name of
Because I have to drive through it
To get home.  Yes, I may be at risk,
But I promise you, I trust the maggots
And the ants and the roaches
Who live beneath the floorboards
Of my house to do what they must
To any carcass more than I trust
An officer of the law of the land
To shut my eyes like a man

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A Kitui Infidelity & Other Poems

by Stephen Derwent Partington

A Kitui Infidelity
The chicken disappeared before midday – no cluck,
no fluttering of feathers – but the owner didn’t notice.
Over lunch, he ate his muthokoi, oblivious, anticipating dinner,
how the houseboy would dispatch it with a twisting of the neck
then pluck it downwards as the blood drip-dripped to earth,
and then the soaking it in brine, the roast, the tearing of the legs
the biting down…

Yet it already had departed.  It was not an inside job, but maybe was,
and so the servants were interrogated.  Someone got the blame,
was found and beaten, so severely that the cop’s arrival saved him
from a lynching – stones and tyres, and sticks and matches.
What went woefully unnoticed was the nail, the telltale fingernail
of her who stretched her digit to condemn him – how a downy feather
fluttered.  What a wife.

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A Movement on Loneliness

by Michael Onsando

A Movement on Loneliness. Image Credit: Roseline Olang'A Movement on Loneliness. Image Credit: Roseline Olang’

by Michael Onsando

Intro

You have never known what loneliness is.

It is not that you have not experienced being alone,
But you have never unraveled yourself
for long enough to understand how an arm can
only be extended as far as the shoulder allows.

You have never known what loneliness is because
being unlonely has never been outside arm’s reach.

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NW3 Hampstead, London – – St. Margaret’s School

by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva

In 1984,  St. Margaret’s School
Turned a hundred.
I was the only black girl
In my class
So I got to stand near the Mayor.
The local paper read,
“Girls’ school turns a Hundred
And celebrates diversity.”

 

From Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva’s poetry collection, Dress Me In Disobedience.

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