Courtesy of -reji/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).


Just gravity pulling what free
bodies it touches down, and at times
their refusal. Despite this shaking over
the mouth of the trash, a plate
holding its residue. Adherence the new
law of frustration guiding
this moment
        toward intervention: the scraping
loose of some sediment, salt
and sugar texturing my bone
memory of pleasure with you–

having shuddered, having thrown my hollow
to loosen your grip, I assign the edge

the incision to suss out
your excess, and ringing the bell, rinse
my face for the scrubbing clean.

Tobi Kassim was born in Nigeria and currently lives in Connecticut. His work has been supported by a Stadler Center Undergraduate fellowship and an Undocupoets fellowship. His poems have been published in the Volta, the Brooklyn Review,’s “Poem-a-Day,” and elsewhere.
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