The table’s instability can be sourced from its
conundrum of balance, bearing the ephemeral load of heavy things
in its radius like a sand dollar,
the black chair in which I sit.
My eyeballs are a hand beneath a blouse,
a tactile disruption aping the interrupted pattern of rosewood.
I am accountable to nothing, but have
said a hadith as if I know what it means.
Uncle forgives me the sorrow of not being homegrown,
his lessons a tutelage of swallowing.
I’ve been deemed old enough to drink Harp beers,
eating bush meat while the grasscutter’s pines make
netting in my hot mouth.
The dry season’s heat undermines itself in my open membranes,
my language delivered in unspeakable babbling,
I think the word flight and forget it means loss.
On my tongue the flavor of French fries.
Chekwube O. Danladi is a writer of fiction and poetry. She is working toward her MFA in fiction at the University of Illinois. Her poetry chapbook, Take Me Back, is included as part of the New-Generation African Poets: Nne boxset, edited by Chris Abani and Kwame Dawes. She lives in Champaign, Illinois.