“Two poems” by Brian Francis

If Ibeyi

To recall a last image of you   I have tried I cannot   but when
our hungers are one     how am I certain of anything but you
your ache & eyes are mine   July another incomplete rotation  16 miles
long      3 miles at its widest point Daddy laughs conjures this island
world so small you can throw a rock clear from one end to the other
I once threw a rock beyond what my eyes could collect   what if I hit others
watched them open & spill on dry island   earth  syrup sweet & inexact
our song   improvised like those acrobats high  winged with leaf & wire
makeshift holy   dazzled elders see ghosts  here rumors walk
out of the bush I ought to own my resemblances


Another Questionable Offering Beats Ether


Vagabondage  wayward hours  retracing escape

routes out of my name   call me  away


from this body   the unruly tune of empty belly

disjointed wingbeats and sharpened teeth


bait   blood I swore could not be mine   to blame

a sighing wind  reckless  weather patterns moving


limbs from the west   a favorite ghost rerouted

so close to the sun   Mommy warned about flying


in the face of god   an ancestor  signifying

the coffer’s voracity   an accomplice to what acts


as always  explain some sorts of madness

and its transcendence



Brian Francis is a Cave Canem fellow from New York City. He has a BA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Poetry from NYU. His work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Vinyl Poetry, Kweli Journal, No, Dear, and Pittsburgh Poetry Review. He teaches Middle School and lives in Harlem.

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