Michael Emmanuel

my roommate says i will age without a lover

drunk, his mouth is a blunder about silhouettes & ghosts / he wrestles
his father in a nightmare & with the glory of sunlight
spilling against his face he dirges his syllables
& names them songs of deliverance

in one my lover is a body of scented perfume / a reservoir that ingested
earth’s kindness. at fourteen a boy paused rain so she could
traverse the road & when she found him she cupped
his longing and tossed it down a chimney.

i mould her into origamis / tuck each name into pockets
of my favourite fantasies / from the speaker Bellion shifts
a chasm within me & i shuffle the playlist,
name them songs of deliverance

my father invented these antics / a collage of songs that numbed mother’s
apathy. he worked trucks for a logging company, his fingers
so smooth behind the wheels she could not anticipate
his coming & with the nobility of a chef she satiated
his longing.

the doctor drains my temperature into a tube / the drought in his eyes
could quench a cloudburst. my roommate labels the fever
a modern-day lovesickness but work is the antidote
for yearning. the doctor sticks a needle
into my vein & the erupting pain triggers
a chasm within me.

sleepy, his mouth is a yodel about heartbreaks & white saddlebacks
& the falsetto of every fantasy beginning with an origami
shifting into a girl shifting into my lover’s eyes
calling my name – come, ololade, come.