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Shade Instead of Sun

Shade Instead of Sun


If my plants are a sign of my wellbeing
then I am not doing well.

I like to collect dead things:
sea creatures, decaying floral arrangements,
and items from dead people:
glasses, a picture of a man in military uniform,
beaded polyester jackets that smell like buried women,
a porcelain plate with gold rim, a mirror waiting to crack.

I also like to have living animals in my house
to remind me of movement when all I feel is static.

A friend told me the house was depressing
said he went to 3 bars to avoid going there
remembered the first time we met, how I had went home
with another man, a philosopher. The next night he had
asked him what happened. “We fucked profusely.”

He once propositioned me for a green card, not like
the philosopher who went back to the crossroads
of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. I politely declined,
wished him luck in finding a wife.

Even though he admits “my love of life left me
when I got to America,” he stays, the last time he felt
this way when he “attempted suicide at 7, took 5 pills,
was pissed when I woke up not dead. I hadn’t thought about
suicide since until I moved here.”

He keeps asking if I’m a witch. “Did you ever mess with that stuff?
You look like you did. See, you do have some affiliation with
the dark side. You should look up that religion, its creed.”

“They put charms in my grandfather’s house in Nigeria to
curse me in America.” After my dog dream barked, he called it
“the internal woof – the spiritual world is alive.”

When he thinks of children he wants to be one
but what do they know beyond the moment.

He did not want to spend time, asked if he could spend
something else. “My spirit was like get me out of here
and I was like, I hear you. Your spirit, soul, will never get tired
of helping people, but you’ll get tired of
everything else. It costs to be alive.”

When wanting to dominate, trace back to whether or not you are
frugal with your spending togetherness: with whom, doing what.

It isn’t free to be alone either,
but I have more tokens in that faith category.

When he asked what’s the point, why I even had sex without coming –
it left me wondering of the ways I open my heart, how I feign being alive.

Why it sounded funny when he said the west has a
cleaner history, as reason for not going back east,
how America’s past was dark and deep in those pits,
forgetting that genocide bleeds down every river here.

I am out of greed and lust to spare, please take these overripe
peaches down the road when you go.

Nikkin Rader has a degree in poetry, gender and sexuality, philosophy, anthropology, and other humanities and social science. Her works can be found in Occulum, Pussy Magic, Mojave Heart Review, the Cauldron Anthology, peculiars magazine, Awkward Mermaid, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She can be found on Twitter @wecreeptoodeep.