palm sunday

through pulp you say hyssop wipe your lips, sated
peer over my shoulder & breathe Yes
into the rose-damp dawn

o cuffs his shirtsleeves
dons a faux pout, plants a peck on your waiting jaw & fades,
sfumato, into the closet dark

& it came to pass that when o left, i dreamt you fucked me to completion, sighing
blessed are the children of the fallowed earth
for they shall see God

& lo when you stared & o dressed & i tossed in my half-waking sleep
i heard you piss in the shower
though i did not let on

on the days when o appears in rearview, i see you as though through an x-ray.
this morning your bulk is a pile of blank space
your bravery?

{ vanished }

revealing a trail   of   porcelain bones

               your eggshell opalescent chalk-white bones        ;        your cup-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away

                                              teeth    bones    hair

in the peakid sunlight sneaking in through the blinds you look frail
is all i’m saying

o rides, palm-flanked, into the city wearing his tumbledown robes
you are there as you are always              waving a frond

this time i do not drown the city in sorrow
this time your smooth hands deliver me to a cotton calm where i do not sink, gasping,
into a river of sheets but am risen your mouth spilling Yes
my cup overrun



at the mouth of the river, God spake:
swaddle the babe, girl—float him, piscine, upslope
& although his seed shall split its husk on the passage
shall fall to the oceans and die
verily shall his line be exalted

& the word was with God then as it is always.
& the word was God.

neva heard silent night over a beat til the braai
but niggas will juke to anything these days

my barber jokes half-drunk, swaying, staring into the first quarter moonlight
where his silhouette curves out of frame

his        folks came from the cape during apartheid,
             cheekbones are cut gems refracting the shop’s fluorescents

i            shall deliver my young to the scripture,
             shall hold these truths to be axiomatic,
             shall sup of your blood & my laugh shall be gay

             (as it is always)

i tip the man. nod. pocket my change.


Jabulile Mickle-Molefe is a work in progress cosplaying as a mom, partner, cat dad, and writer. They want to thank you for reading these poems! See Jabulile in issue Fifteen.   TWITTER