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Anathema: Two Poems by Gordon Ayisi


you’d say your skin is a city
with a lost map
where uppity men mislay their hearts

or your smile is a newfound land,
a lingo i don’t understand –
flight in mist
a crack on an ocean

you’d say you’re a goat – short-tailed
who cannot shed flies
or whisk them away

but i would learn your name
like a litany
cross myself and pray
love is exile to your skin

love, anywhere, is a dangerous business
true blue whammed in the face
when it rains
love is anathema


in the time of death

even when the song of death
parts cleft lips
we stop to sneeze
we stop to spit

at the dawn of death
you know things you already knew
and have forgotten you knew
and you don’t know
what you know

you sit down to life
and you sit on a knoll –
a bit of moon on your skin,
waiting for detritus

in the time of death
your needled heart thumps outside
your breast and is misplaced,
reconnoitering in the lacunae
of life, stitching moth-eaten memories

summing up days that
don’t add up. in the end
the hard road is the adieu
even by the moonlight

even when the song of death
parts cleft lips
we stop to sneeze
we stop to spit

for we look death in the face
guffaw and pass by
the public showman yet so

Poems: (c) Gordon Ayisi

Gordon Gullanyi Ayisi (ggayisi) is a Ghanaian medical student, studying General Medicine in Rostov State Medical University, Russia. Gordon has been in love with words, books and everything writerly since childhood. He hopes to bring hope to the world, and to help people grapple with the human condition through his work.


  1. Great poems! Kudos. The writing in your DNA defies imagination. I pray every day that you will not one day ditch writing to concentrate on your chosen career. The literary world cannot afford to lose you!

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