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when bad nights unfurl to form a crosswalk into a day alive with butterflies

by hassan a. usman

all this time we were seated for our own

share of the light now it doesn’t matter

how much furrows are set in our butts

today I unthink suicide I uncork my body

into the arms of the morning sun

& fall back into a garden of lilies

I’m the chips & also the ketchup

I eat the sweetness out of myself

into myself

here it is: the delicate art of

unspooling in a birdlike motion

I love the way my body loves me

we think we’d walk into a passage

teeming with ravens & human skulls

but our legs instead gatecrash at a party

of hummingbirds today I

take the shape of a happy poem

bad nights, here, we say cheers to a remaking

into a cauldron of daisies we put behind

all the ghosts all the moments of withering

today is when your father dies

& wakes up in the body of a star

I am not afraid of tonight

I can almost feel the moonlight on my skin

all I hear are soothing birdsongs laughters of

young girls drawing dandelions around bullet holes


Hassan A. Usman, NGP II, is a black poet and a lover of cats. His works have appeared or forthcoming in Paper Lanterns, Trampset, Icefloe Press, Poetrycolumn-NND, Nymph, SprinNG, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, The Shallow Tales Review, Olumo Review, Lunaris Review, Afrocritik, Arts Lounge, Five south, and elsewhere. He’s an alumnus of the SprinNG Writing Fellowship 2022. Hassan enjoys cooking, listening to Nigerian street music, and juggles writing with modeling. Say hi to him on Twitter or Instagram @Billio_Speaks


Image by Bree Anne
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