i toss the lion’s paws upon the kitchen table,
its tail in a soup pot with rice and beans…
its head i wear, my heroic eyes peering through
its maw, a tiara of teeth / its tongue slung to the side:
Champion of the Gods,
i was born with a silver moon in my mouth.
Demon Slayer. Storm Tamer. Soothsayer. Fannie Lou
Hamer tattooed on my ass’s jawbone. and when i roar
a billion lightning bugs pour forth from mouth soaring
into the sky until all is overcast and dark;
portentous by my own doing.
the folktale in the leaves of your teacup say:
“a trouble is a-brewing….”
and this is how i come, in love, to you.
my heart folded into this tannery of pillow talk.
my lungs a sheath for all your loose skin.
my entire mouth a mortar for your sugars,
sugar, come and grind all of your spices here…
the skull bone of a foreign love god is my cereal bowl
but the grains within are yet not sweet; let me steep
you in its milk until the honey comes.
i know, in you, there is honey…
a centuries-ago prophecy sent me to your door
and i smell the apiary you sleep in on your gown.
even in your shadow there is sorghum. meniscus,
tendons, and gristle; not one empty calorie…
i beg you, love, to let me feast.
the 365 Labors of Kereenyaga Heru
each day i contend with throngs to keep you
safe. happy. and draped in desire. i whittle mountains
down into busts of you, placing each atop a pedestal,
a pyramid, or a simple soapbox…
your umbrageous charm, to me, an ivory tower;
this silhouette of us is a constellational song.
the lion’s growl – from my own lamentations – creeping;
with the husk of me at your heels, weeping.
and this is how i come to Heaven…
this is how i hunger you.