Aracelis Girmay

samuel johnson,

your big, bad brain

is a certain glory,


mister samuel dictionary,


how eloquence & etiquette

charge your pages wearing predicate,


seems to me, though,

you’re wolfing the yard,

in your ghost-gauze suit

& your bones’ rattle, rattle,


sir, scuse me, sir,

i found the ax

under the bed

of your syntax


roll over, red rover,

in your dirty grave,

you can’t save

what doesn’t need

to be saved, say


fufu has pity

on the fool,

take your tongue, sleep, sweet,

or i take your teeth, too,

you thot you could keep

our words rowed & locked, no, no,

no this:


even when i

am talking english, i’m ghana

be talking about africa, asmara

body i’ve benin

than anything, i wright

the language

& trick the talk, tongue so magic,

eye so magic & born.