Jumoke McDuffie-Thurmond

After Moonage Daydream

I’m an evocation
I’m a burning buried in you
I’m your mother tongues’ widow
I’ll make an elegy of you
Listen to my breathing—memory sauntering in flesh
Come and dine on what’s left

Bring me that dreadful longing
Let it swell against my breast
I’ll nurse it sweetly
Let it gorge until it hollows
Until you find solace in refusing to forget
But keep your eyes on me
Watch me glisten as I sharpen my fangs
And you’ll recognize the shards of your pain

I’m an aberration
I’m an echo cascading in you
I’m a laceration, a shadow of a ghastly boon
Compressed in sea salt and a continent’s pound of flesh
I’m the rage beneath the deck

Give me all your famished anguish
Let me carve it from your chest
I’ll raise it up to graze the morning and remake it in the sunset
But there will be no coronation
No scepter in your hand
I’ll fill your mouth with stronger folklore until you understand

I’m a fledgling wonder
I’m a wick that’s awaiting in you
Light me slowly
Let me fill the space of you with
Easeful knowing and the humming of watchful steps
We will safeguard what’s left

Tell me all your luscious secrets
Let them flit and gander and jest
Lay your sodden words across our tongue
We will say the rest
Jumoke McDuffie-Thurmond is a poet and artist preoccupied with the interplay between memory, myth, and embodiment. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, where he currently lives.

View David Joel Kitcher’s selected works.


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