Creature of the East
your resting ribs,
a crib warped around you like a crisphead lettuce.
qibla of the bone stone lowlands. due east.
like the black volta’s fossilised feathers.
a bone the size of rain.
like getting a body when you ask for a throne.
i fold my fingers into the broken vase of your embrace.
muʾaddins of collagenous minarets, sing me back to a soft stillness due east.
i lay next to your veins and learn how to be a river with my tongue.
i give everything that breaks a second name to warn myself.
a prophecy walks like a frog and is eaten like a pest.
my aunt prays over the bones of past lovers I keep after my breakups;
she says we could make something of these white trees if we had a hacksaw
& a hummer; We could make you a perfect lover.
but everyone perfect is due east,
and everywhere due east is too wet for our carpenter’s glue.
my glue, like cum in an ocean. due east.
i dye my skin to fit on your finger.
i was not bad a carpenter; your bones were not mine to build.
Infantry or Self Portrait as Flags
We sat on the ground, waved our flags, and sang the National Anthem. —Lekki toll gate protector. 20th October 2020, 8:13pm.
My neighbour is a border plant.
I hold him the way God cannot.
I hold him and the bullet inside him.
The bullet inside me kisses the bullet inside him.
The bullet in the tollbooth. the toll: many!
The bullet in a national anthem.
The bullet in the raised flag: green, white and green again;
I mean green-blood-green again;
Ghana’s flag has a blood covenant like this.
The flag layed in my arms—shot, bleeding out, dying.
The flag in my palms—
the infantryman said drop the weapon
and shot, me, before their tongue grazed the screaming air.
The bullets, now bullet points in the heyday.
The bullets, a ringing bulletin.
The bullets, are aircrafts,
and it’s the first time the village children had seen
jet planes emergency-land inside of the boys & girls
who said give us more than the red in our blood.
Sarpong Osei Asamoah
Sarpong Osei Asamoah writes both in Twi and English. His work is forthcoming in Protean Magazine and has appeared in Lolwe Magazine, Tampered Press Magazine, The Hellebore, IceFloe Press Magazine, at WriteGhana.com, Gumbo Press Magazine, Lunaris Review, Contemporary Ghanaian Writers Series Anthologies and elsewhere. He is a Ghanaian. Find him on twitter @SarpongOAsamoah.