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a mirror gave me a call, to behold,
to reckon, how much the leftover
of my father’s gnawing pains, i ate.
i saw, in it, my eyes are a
replica of my father’s—my faded face,
my tears, and all, mine, are his.
i learnt, in the class where i was
asked to draw a cartilaginous skeleton,
a skull, and the hinges of an african rat
a trait, call it whatever synonym,
perhaps, a character, dances down,
like the diffusion of gases,
from the child’s father,
a black, mayhaps, a dwarf
or the one that shares his height with
our area’s pole, to the child—like me. i
never knew the teacher meant the
child would carry his father’s pains, too,
until i saw the rumbling sky raining
all the rainbows of thunder in my head.
and, that’s when i realized it’s not
the ugly face of my father, alone, i carry.
sometimes, i smile, weep, and poemify all
my agonies, though i know they aren’t meant to be mine.
sometimes, i sit, facing
the vandalized mirror of my home, counting the spots on
my calcareous face,
though they ought not to be mine.
men are not stones. they cry,
too, but sometimes, it’s not their cries.

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