Pirates and Co.


Can you swim?
Do you sometimes wear skirt-like wraps?
Do you have pitch-black skin and good hair?
Do the words,
Waryaa, Nayaa and American dollar,
Mean anything to you?

The Somali pirate’s society wants you.

We have Saudi oil tankers,
Rich holiday makers,
And resident Korean tuna trawlers,

Register now at your local offices,
And we’ll even throw in a free motorized dinghy.

The Somali pirate’s society,
Making water profitable.


A study in memory


I ran out of the city,
my lovers name
a thorn in my mouth, gaging on the truth,
Wardhiigley smouldering behind me –
the fat settling
in the cul-de-sac where I left our house.

I became a contortionist,
folding my body
into self-pity,
turned religion into a bunker,
in the interviewer’s office
holding on to God
like a key.

I pulled my tongue out
stretched it over
a new language, learnt
to bend over a toilet bowl,
took pills
for the heart burn, became British
memorising my lovers face.



My mother is an adolescent girl
with the soul of a widow still in mourning.
Her voice is unsure and her mouth an open window,
the rubble of her past successes
lodged in her throat.

On a good day she crosses her hands
over her distended breasts – each nipple
heavy with generosity – sits at the edge of an entire continent
her left foot in the sea,
her right touching the ocean
and looks at the world
like a sharp thorn entering a heel.

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