we are terribly cliché: singing in the shower
ancient cantatas of well-crafted Caucasian angst—
melancholic prurient angelically inept—
back when our lungs soared with swollen wings
feigned durable enough to heal with specificity all
their human pain. for you it was the Nirvana tattoo
etched along your upper-arm in courier new
that dazzled the spiky-haired bassist who’d chirped
you into submission with, girl, you is the highest
yellow thing I ever did see. for me? Julie Impellezzeri
of Glastonbury, Connecticut—my mouth stuffed
feather full of her roaring northeastern curls—
our comically violent sex like slapstick pie in the face
ending with a breakup mixtape wept to so often
a tarred heart-still-panics in the caliginous distance
of faraway stars no one will ever hear again.
there is reason we bathe, baby: to hit that hook
and high-note-pipe hard—one final humping drag
of widespread limpid plumage—and rest heads
beneath the plangent pressure of wet pasts
that mark their descent along the paths of our
collarbones breasts abdomens
and once alacritous genitals. and with bare feet
we get down and grind that kind of fervor
into the snaking drain of hell’s tone-deaf inner ear
until songs of this nature have flown far and high
and away from the bellowed name of a land
whose anthem has forever seduced with fluttering
hot rifts that scald our tongues bowed-in-prayer
for fresh flesh and wetter retribution.
Click here for PDF version.
Akhim Yuseff Cabéy is a Pushcart Prize winning author whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Obsidian II, The Sun, Sweet, Rough Copy, Breakwater Review, The Minnesota Review, and in the anthology The Frozen Moment. Originally from the Bronx, N.Y., he now lives in Columbus, Ohio and teaches writing at Columbus State Community College.