Poems by Francis-Xavier Anopuechi



As the archers pointed to the sky, arrows leapt into the air like greyhounds from their boxes


a great long unfastening

over the silence gripping soft eye sockets with steel forceps

pulling the seahorse

out of its stall and

into the burn of day,


over the bubbling juices of roasted meats, the plump orange leaf bags, a crèche of baby penguins clustered

together on the sidewalk,



wife, mother,

lover, governess, black widow

a tornado, a hurricane named Jackie,

it must be brutal, eliminating,

but life giving, life affirming also.


Wrapped in our robes at the window, we can actually see it on the horizon

sometimes, this woman,


coming over the water,

you and me, the dogs pressed against our legs.




A maiden hoists Sagittarius

into the hunt


stars crawling all over him like spiderlings hatching, ravaging the eloquent

body of

a father

who has died to feed an ogre in his children—


the agony

when mirrors become shadows in the grass

and comets carrying buckets of water in their mouths



eyes sailing at half-masts:

what better thing to use than a lover as the canvas for rage.





Landlocked in desire,

the fixing to bloom beyond just afterglows—

jaws swinging moods, nebulous places:


all that is left is January

an anguish whose sunsets

bleed against the sky like


a canopy of giant red apes

making their nests for the night in

distant treetops.

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