by Logan February

 

My lover is a furry beast, except at the tail. 
I want to skin him and make myself a coat 
before the harmattan gets here. The cold is 
always curling in, claws becoming a fist.

I've survived this long because I hold 
my weight in smoke for the whole of December. 
My lover kept my skin warm. Now he heats 
my stomach. Hurt people hurt people, etcetera.

I keep him permanent inside me. The brown 
broth was a true delight. Viscous stew, steaming 
& thick with palm oil. A little too much salt, 
but I swear I haven't cried since then. I shaved

my lover's head for a thicker quilt, made a pipe 
out of his thigh bone. More smoke for me. 
Most days, I swear I am only alive because of 
my shivering. What I built was a fire, inside

this house, which my lover built, his hands 
rugged as a steel sponge. I live forever by 
the threshold, afraid of the chill, watching the fog 
crawl close. When there is nothing left to burn,

I will oil my lamp & wick with the little fat under 
my own skin, then go to join them. All the people 
I have scalded, calling out for me. Through 
mouthfuls of mist, I quietly name them in return.

 

 

Logan February is a happy-ish Nigerian owl who likes pizza & typewriters. He is a poet and a book reviewer at Platypus Press’ Weekend Review. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Raleigh Review, Fjords, Wildness, Tinderbox, Vinyl, 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.

 

This poem appears in our 25th Anniversary Issue