sideways light and heat from the early Atlantic night
when i ran
the Cotonou streets
pacing open jawed sewers
i was closer to it
closer to my brain's music player
to the machine in me, capable
and broadcasting powerful things

weak love of the world
keeps me from the frequency of that wet black space.
the ocean has tried
as have treeline wind rage and the frost quiet of highland winter
to push into me the magnitude of the sound
so i'd know it when i found it

a brail note for my body
that Benin coast curled currents around its knuckles to pummel my chest
and hold me under, told me
lift your arm in the waves son,
watch your breast bruise under our rhythm hymn
and hear what comes from you

twilight creatures spoke to me too,
the old ghost bent backs
that tear down the common papering of day eyed me
as they stood up the joists of night and painted them with
day's end glow and calls to dinner.

they took heavy elements from their yokes and blew them into our world
flame and dance and rest and feasting next to
cracked bone blood in the west gutters drizzling down a wrecked moto
reports of pestilence and panic
circling Place des Martyrs with
bats, looping over the mouth Haie Vive,
the beasts of dusk and transition tried
in the streets
to show me the weight of myself
and i was closer

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