grown girl: she thinks of the dead by Liz Femi

Photo of alley between brick buildings with graffiti
Photo by Marcus Loke on Unsplash

it surely is the same wrinkled sky from years ago
when i lived in dense forest towns
when cold winds chafed Iroko bark

prayers chafe fingers.
i smoothed my first grinding stone with rocks
picked from streets maddened from stoning thieves.
i peered down wells
and called to the nameless to find out for myself:

guards of the wide road
where mothers have gone mad
where faint rhymes tuck
into palms,
poems in vapors,
breastmilk curdles with ghosts,
and from mounds poured for the forgotten,
i walked, anyhow, anyhow myself

Liz Femi
Liz Femi is a Nigerian-American writer, actor, and an NAACP Theater Award Nominee for her solo play, Take Me to the Poorhouse. A recipient of Writeability’s Right to Write Award, her work has been featured in The Harvard African, and performed at the Rogue Machine Theatre’s Rant and Rave. She’s based in Los Angeles and Atlanta, and has a forthcoming publication in West Trade Review.

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