Portrait of a Womb
Where do we hide the things we cannot un-see?
In the cataract of an eye?
In the decaying muscle fibers of an infarcted heart?
In a papier-mâché womb?
Her womb is the portrait of an ocean-coloured
sky filled with our dead things. You ask:
how does a woman hold a dead man in her womb?
She wraps him
in paper-thin gold, with chains like metal
keloids of ripped flesh fastened to her bosom
so that he will not slip--
his body hangs from her tree
his head lobbed to one side, bobbing
like a brown-petaled flower blooming.
She drapes her soul in pearls.
The allure of metal on black skin
has hypnotized the observer & the observed
for centuries. One might say
arrogance wears death with aplomb.
One might claim
the infamy is her own scarred
womb turned window, like a eulogy
praising death. One might wish
she were saying this is
so we won’t forget that
within that dark pool of the soul
a world of dead men hang, fixed
pretty in gold.
Editor's note: This poem was written about Rest in Peace, a visual artwork/photograph by Fabiola Jean-Louis (USA, b. Haiti). Please click here and scroll down to see the stunning original image of inspiration for this poem. The image shown above is a placeholder as we were unable to contact the artist.
.chisaraokwu. is a poet, actor & healthcare futurist. She is grateful to have had her works published in many literary and academic journals. She is passionate about addressing trauma through the arts, is semi-obsessed with the indigenous religious traditions of the Igbo of eastern Nigeria and completely obsessed with the Italian language. Find her on IG: @naijabella.
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