t h e q u i e t

Alisina Saee-Nazari

 

The world my mother brought me into

Shows no resemblance

To the world that she left.

Upon her departure

She gave me a gift.

To find humanity within my own hands.

To hear the wind fill concaves in the air.

Her silence touches the earth

Like the candle in a dark room.

Her absence

The reminder of another day.

Bamboo by Oshiomah Oyageshio

Oshiomah Oyageshio
Bamboo

This bench I sit on was once a tree.

Maybe it was a forest

Can it feel nostalgia?

Does it remember how it feels

to be wild?

To be nourished by loam

while earthworms wriggle

around its roots? For its leaves

 

to relish the sun for breakfast?

I am surrounded by tall green skinny bamboos

as I watch fat koi with the tinct

of flaming persimmons swim aimlessly.

 

As I bask in the glory of this humid paradise,

I can only wonder if I deserve this blessing;

To be the only one in this cage of glass

sequestering me from the horror of winter.

 

To be surrounded by this tropical flora

of  breadfruit and starfruit,

cocoa and rubber,

shell ginger and banana.

 

Is this lush bliss aware

that I sit on their dead brother?

That was uprooted and hacked, carved,

shaped, sharpened and shaved

 

to make a bench I sit on?

They must be angry.
Their leaves are screaming. Their
roots are squirming.

Do they know

they are manipulated to grow

In a land not their own?
I can feel the koi

 

staring, they sense

the invisible tension.

The humidity here

is entrancing. Closing my

 

eyes I

lay my drowsy head

between two bamboos

and close my eyes.

 

In my reverie they wrap

around me,

and I too become a

bamboo; limbs

 

fusing to thorax, thorax

to a piston, heartbeat

and blood replaced

with water, lignin,

 

and sugar. From root to

Shoot my skin

mutates from black

to green, leaves begin to sprout.

 

These bamboos are malicious;

These vines are vicious.

 

The koi boom

from the pond.

I snap

from the trance and

 

I am now a human

cross in a sea

of bamboos with vines, tugging

my arms and

feet. Sacrifice

 

or savior? The room is

smaller, the trees

are closer. This humid

haze has made me

 

weary of reality. The Banana

look sinister, the cocoa tree

grins. Everything alive

grimaces.

 

They advance.

 

Suddenly

 

I

 

am

 

rooted

 

to the bench.

 

Then

 

I

 

am

 

Uprooted.

 

from the bamboos

 

to be skinned alive

 

and hacked,

 

carved, shaped,

sharpened and shaved

then fused to a bench

 

of bones. The bamboos

 

sit

 

on me

 

pondering

 

if my ribs
are

 

screaming.

 

 

 

Limb Lazarus by Oshi

Limb Lazarus

By Oshi

 

You have done it again.

One hour in every two

you create me–
A sort of perpetual slumber ritual.

Change your pillow and posture,

Don’t I terrify?

 

Yes, yes boy it is I.

Do you deny

the numb, burning zombie

 

transmuted from your arm?—

overnight, slowly,

discreetly, very painfully;

 

when your pillow and head

squash my being.

Restricting the blood.

 

Your stubborn comfort

insists,

on staying put

 

over crushed arteries and veins.

Needles and pins pierce through pillow

as my skin makes room.

 

It’s the second hour,

and like the cat, I have nine lives to live.

This is number two.

 

“Resurrect us!”

My vessels scream and scream

To your night dream.

 

Push me please,

so that my knuckles kiss the carpet.

The pain will cease

 

as the red tsunami baptises

shoulder to finger,

phantom to flesh.

 

Needles and pins

beware, beware.

Out of the ash carpet I rise,

 

born again, no surprise.

“A miracle!” You’ll  shout

As my blood knocks you out.