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Poem : You Are 

By Azore Opio

You are a Tilly Thread worm that

wiggles out of common men’s
anuses to lay and hatch your eggs
When men scratch their buttocks
you laugh out your frilly lungs

Sometimes you change into
Ashley Ascaris, the fattest
and a’times most handsome
of all the worms

You are pale and pink and
live with all your relatives
in the guts of poor men
eating up all the food that passes down

making the men thin while you
grow bigger and bigger
You are a vampire of
a hookworm that can’t go

You with your sharp razor teeth
and all your friends all over the
world have never stopped sucking
men’s blood

You, when you get tired of feeding
on men, you poke your head out
of their arms and legs
to squirt out your eggs so that

more of your kind can thrive
You hide under blue-black blankets
to sip men’s blood
You nibble on men’s parts

tossing and toasting your brains
you swing and swig men’s clotted blood
you are a faint smudge of evil
an emergent mist of maraboutic cults

You are the ghostly lamp of economic
doldrums spelling inky silences of doom
You are the dank smell of rotting royalty
the dry whisper of a con man

echoing on the rickety stairwell of hell
You are the old stinking ornate abode
of rotting traditions inhabited
by gnawing ants

You are the furnace throbbing
with guilt suffusing an erotic
darkness over every life
You are the restless embers of

vengeance always poking in
coals of tribalism
You are the hot bath of
fear often engulfed in vivid misdeeds

You are the furious whirlwind of
draughty insults ever enveloped in
strange sensations…..always seized
by organic senses of dread

Your teeth chatter with fear
and sweats of guilt and impotence
slide down your armpit and spine
and your vision is always blurred

You teeter on the verge of collapse
peculiar numbness grips and paralyses
you when excitement is not sapping
your energyYou see yourself in lurid blinding

colours as you gaze at sliced bread
steak and chips and French beans
and spinach
Your mouth waters and you hate to

bring attention to yourself
you shove food and chew each
mouthful aghast, washing it down
with gluttonous swallows of red wine

but your cowhide skin puckers from
the heat of intractable conscience
Your knees buckle and shake with
excitement and sweat breaks on your

frizzled face, you often snarl at your
Lo! You are a cursed liar, an
unforgivable illegitimate upstart…

First published in The Post print edition no. 01362

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