breaching. by Ayaan Elokobi

when you speak of pain
i say
“rain does not fall upon one roof alone”
it slakes the roots of
the silk-cotton tree
whose coffin wood roots
are reft open
for the Aziza
who dwell in its cloak

they secrete
your papers
in hollowed out
for when
outstrips her shadow
ink-lings whole

when you speak of love
i say
“beauty is an empty calabash”
but your softer words
slip through
the demon’s jaws
and move me
to rapture

and yet

your poetry is a deceiver
you come with a cat
and call it a rabbit.