Flourish Joshua


for Oluwakemisola.


but [my] love is music—
it is why there are strings

inside my name,
a quivering for the purples
of my lover’s voice.

inside my voice,
a rattling for the miracles
in my lover’s body.

sing me into a winter groove,
hide my name inside the shadows
of your music,

—o bird
of a thousand contralto songs.

see—at the end of the road, ants gather
to lick your name.

beneath the curtain of crescent nights, irokos bow
to the sonority of the melodies
in your breasts.

Kémi, sing till your voice is a clef—
something the mouth of every worshipper
will learn to carry.

I want to know no other hymn, but
your body, no other song, but your music.

Flourish Joshua

Flourish Joshua, Frontier XX, has appeared in London Grip Poetry, miniskirt magazine, East French Press, Olongo Africa, Sledgehammer Lit Mag, Poetry Column NND, Ghost City Review, Brittle Paper, Blue Marble Review, Five South, No Contact, the Indianapolis Review, Agbowó, the minnesota review, Magma Poetry & elsewhere. He is the poetry editor for LERIMS Quarterly, associate poetry editor for miniskirt magazine & a Best of the Net nominee.