Ghazal in Nakedness

Honora Ankong

You wear the night like a too big jacket – swaddled in         black body un-naked.

Exposed moonlight    teeth bared & gleaming. There are things you cannot hide in this darkness. Resist    the urge to  naked         yourself–   the world bites like fire       ants. How presumptuous of you to think you can walk into a poem and not get naked. Good women leave

                      some things to the imagination            but you are poet                   so you  naked 

the world of its words. You were raised glass-like     taught to screech when clawed at        

yet here you are with a throat  naked    of sound. Aren’t you ashamed, Honora, of the way poems escape you?        Aren’t you ashamed to leave the world the same way you came in – naked?

Honora Ankong is a queer Cameroonian-American poet. She is currently a Virginia Tech MFA in poetry candidate. Her works exist in and explore the different landscapes where her identities intersect. She is constantly complicating and reimaging the confines of the African Diaspora.


*Illustration: ‘the urge to naked yourself’ by Sef Adeola.

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