on January 7, 2023
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                      i damage you─ beautifully. late evening nurse. 
i come with a bloodless adze, glucose meter & 
                      a satchel full of thermometers & ice packs.

                      i put my fingers in your mouth & record
your temperature. i detect everything; 
                      the hot breath of roof pressing heavily

                      against your knee & quiet volcano
in the compression of your things.
                       my knuckles listen to the tussle of your thighs
                       reddening like the neat of fresh meat. 
on its sticky surface, i discover everything. 
                       last night's unrest. of

                       recalcitrant bodies. two legs hoisted in the air 
asking God if they can be like that & still 
                       make prayers clean without

                      rinsing with bleach. wounds can be eaten 
fresh on a woman's body. do not think it;
                      it is a paradox of an exotic poem. i break 

                      my father's teeth in your groin with my tongue.
do not utter what body cannot hear in rain. 
                     do not curse me with rainbow, 

                      half-sketch hate on my father's glabella & extend
the curve to my chin bone. it is just 
                      a matter of a tennis racket pronated from the back

                      & the arm is filled with ire. i load an ace & 
suspend my head like bat. i hunt him away 
                      from your colony. breathe. breathe.

Gabriel Awuah Mainoo is a Ghanaian creative practitioner & author of 5 books of poetry. Winner of the 2021 Africa Haiku Prize, 2022 Singapore Poetry Prize, 2021 LFP/ RML/ Library of Africa and the African Diaspora chapbook winner & a recipient of the 2022 West Africa Writers Residency.Mainoo’s craft can be found or forthcoming in London Reader, Pairie Fire, SUSPECT, Wales Haiku Journal, EVENT, Africa Haiku Journal among others.