Friday, October 25, 2013

The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party

Gambia. Alhaji, twenty-one and gay, had been planning his birthday
for months. The guest list carefully locked away; there was that real threat of
decapitation to consider. However, he could no longer find peace by avoiding

how old is need,
how knotted are the corridors
of loneliness?
Imam, there is no angel
with an orange by my bed

His friends gathered by the poolside, each with his past shut in him like the
leaves of a book, eyeing the uninvited guest snapping photographs. 

freedom is a fire
that runs like a staircase
up then down—
my lover's lips the color
of soft-skin mangoes

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