On the edges of my shadow is a woman/ who doesn’t leave everyone’s tongue bitter.
I grab a handful of hair & try to get a taste of yesterday/ but my mouth is left as dry as December’s air.
Today/ there’s blood lodged in my nails/ like red on the rays of a drowning sun.
They say time shapeshifts us/ like an egg to a fetus/ to a shriek. Like a father leaving his child in the slums/ to a mother selling her daughter for buns.
The last time I had a taste of moonshine/ it burned my belly/ but for a moment the sky seemed to be clearer.
I could see space from the cold side of my bed.
I asked the abbess how it was possible & she told me that the world is a painting/ a little dream could take us round it.
I’ve written songs about men who lived during the day & died at night/ while being melted by the heat of my thighs/ their eyes blank as if they would be caught in flagrante delicto by the mere thought of their children.
If the world was truly a painting/ then I’d be a stroke in the blurry background/ birthed when the painter lost his grip on the brush.
Maybe/ that’s why the goddess gives me her back/ when I ask for her shoulder.
Peace Ufedojo Haruna
is a creative writer and editor. Her works have appeared and are forthcoming in Blue River Review, Upwrite Magazine, Poemify Magazine, Brittle Paper, Ethel Zine, and Dreich Magazine amongst others. She won Gemspread Publishing’s October Flash Fiction Contest (2022). She also came fifth place in the Wakaso Poetry Prize (July, 2021). She was shortlisted for the Korea-Nigeria Poetry Feast, 2019 (Student Category) and Parousia Christmas Short Story Contest (2020). She is passionate about human rights and cultural preservation. Find her on Instagram: @peaceharuna9.