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POETRY
Learning the Gag Reflex
Logan February
Writer of the Month

thanh-tran-342855-unsplash.jpg

love does not want this body,
this mouth, toothless maw, hanging open

& belonging to nobody’s son.
my father died & i became no one.

in Yorùbá, a father is a name &
the left hand is taboo. one cannot offer

water with the left hand or sleep
facing upward. at night, a witch

will sit on your chest. a knife tearing
into a knife. my left hand only knows

to open itself when i want to find my blood.
my left hand only knows to heal fast.

i touch the boy i want to love, hold him
in my left hand & he becomes unsacred.

love is my left hand closing itself
into a fist. love is taboo. love is

something i put in my mouth to suffocate me
before the witch’s smother.

love is the hand belonging to nobody.
i swallow with my throat still closed. the body

rejects the fist.

 

previously published by Brittle Paper


Logan February is a happy-ish Nigerian owl who likes pizza & typewriters. He is Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Ellis Review, and a book reviewer at Platypus Press' the Wilds. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Raleigh Review, Yemassee, Wildness, Glass, Tinderbox, and more. He is the author of How to Cook a Ghost (Glass Poetry Press, 2017), Painted Blue with Saltwater (Indolent Books, 2018) & Mannequin in the Nude (PANK Books, 2019). Say hello on Instagram & Twitter @loganfebruary.