Back to Issue Forty-One

he started shaving

or Genesis 1:28


Tonight, the sky is backlit.
& everything sharp rests in their respective drawers.

The trees sway in foreground
& ever bloom in all black,

an ink blot test tapestry,
nature’s negligée’.

Of course I like you,
have laid back, become kith to the ground, the soil; the original masochist.

Of course I, like you,
have collapsed in the arms of all kinds of Him(s),

unified in a circle of never-ending bassinets,
of Johnson & Johnson

of spit up stains.
I reap, I sow, this body boy. My dainty debris.

Dying is a kind of tithe.
Death is just another boy,

who feels owed,
whetting a fetish for your brand of being.

& you’ve never been much of a drinker
but have inhaled gulpfulls from the heavy sky,

whispered Oui under a fermented moon,
taken shelter in the dampest of bones.

Someone cast you in a furnace,
and ash begot air begot

still. A joy rattle.
Beloved, don’t shy, you’ll be amazed at what accidents can do,

be in awe of immortality’s voice
& just how deep it can get.

I am ever early in this language,
a symphony of cherubs wait

on my every word. My brand of babble doesn’t break
just because some dumb stupid world plotted the coo from my mouth.

Tepid baby boy don’t sing yo’ gospel.
Can’t fetch your only hallelujahs from bishop’s great throw.

It’s all still there, like grown folks, like muscle memory
the long legged toddlers of present, if we raise our feeble necks to heaven, we still drop

our jaws from habit,
from comfort, from the ancient promise of milk.

I implore you, my stranger, my love.
If there is nothing new under the sun, be the sun.


Sacha Marvin Hodges is a writer, director, urban planner and architectural designer from Virginia. A Callaloo and Cave Canem fellow, Hodges currently resides in occupied Chespian land in Southern Virginia.

Next (Fiona Stanton) >

< Previous (Chiwenite Onyekwelu)