Every time we cross paths long membranes

Weaken. Porous windows, vision merges

After our eyelids rub. Darker sense but

I recognized you still. After you shaved

Your head your name was ashes.

We scooped cinders of a flagging fire

From the pit and spread black dust around

The roots of a garden thronged with nightshades

And squash. The coal you smeared said how the dead

still feed on our spent embers. Weak renewal

glistened in the dark like an earring, the moon.

Your hair still surges back lighter. I ran

Ahead of myself to thank you for that hug,

You opened me out of myself, the gates

To the garden, our blurry kingdoms, black

Anthers in our yellow blossoms, pincers

For night’s blue powder, first and last light sifted

Like flour, coated the line between seeing

And being as one. You particulate, you

color in a cloud. Ether, I’m sensitive.

seep through me like sleep.

Tobi Kassim was born in Nigeria and currently lives in New Haven. His poems have appeared in The Volta, the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and The Brooklyn Review.

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