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I Echo | Mascara

Bless the singing infant in wilderness

An alien with a big mouth sermons–
They make weeping mothers, children
who plead adoption with bickering disbelief
after eating their fill from mother’s pot
They say finding better in her walls is as breathing
under water. Hospital wards are fraught
with ant colonies & surviving is an active meteorite
But, what do these children do?
They live in a place where perception is king
Grown-up kids hoarding memes like food
Spineless addicts who chug and chug and
never use cheap purell on sordid days
They want change handed to them in coins–
silver coins on a silver platter

An infant in the wilderness sings–
Mother mother where art thou?
The mortar on my future withers
Sprinkle water sprinkle milk sprinkle hope

In a concealed room a ruler with eyes-closed
amnesia rapes a weaning mother with zest and signs
off spoils to the alien who speaks of children
as idle worshippers waiting for mother’s milk


She watched her father stare
At her mother with ravenous intent

Like how the stories say prince
Charming longed for cinderella’s feet

Last eve she heard her aunty’s
Wild thunderous laugh after her

Mother spit out,
“i have him wrapped around my finger”

And every girl wants to marry her
Father; so she wears her mother’s body

And sprays her aunty’s “don’t let the boys
In” perfume and gallops into the past

Her mother once said, her father had a
Lollipop in his mouth when their stars crossed

And so the first sweet talker she
Meets with her father’s jawline

She gleefully opens her legs
To wrap him with it

Behind her mother’s mascara lies
A fledgling that could be your daughter

Sixteen but her plump lips and the weight
Of her thighs say otherwise

You take her to a restaurant and feed
Her full with chocolates till she

Begs you to make her a woman
And then later begs you for more

You lie you haven’t worshipped in a place
That poured unending glory, so you hump

And hump with her mascara off
You hump and knack in different times

To your belly’s bloat until one sun-soaked
Afternoon when you move like a thief

In the night, you hail another thief
That is your own daughter leaving

The gates clothed in her mother’s mascara
With plump lips and her thighs forbidden brown

You pray and pray and pray but your
Heart and mind already have the answer

That the wheel wheels justly
And your daughter also begs

Last night at Jamestown coffee

I saw a diamond
a black diamond dressed in white
Lusts, my eyes watered
Steals i took, my hands unattached
She was a mined diamond
Another jewel unearthed by a foreigner
Yet my canvas was painted in dreams
The smiles she took
The waves her waist produced as the DJ mixed
Even when her nose breathed smoke, i painted
A finished artwork my dreams resolved in
A gradient of colors
Red and white__ what would it feel like
Black and brown__ if she was my diamond?

Poems © I Echo
Image: mohamed_hassan Pixabay (remixed)

I Echo
I Echo
I Echo is of Nigerian-Ghanaian origins, and he lives in Ghana. He is a budding writer who uses writing as a therapy session. Previously published under the name "Chris Baah", some of his works have been published or are forthcoming in Poetic Africa, Writer's Space Africa Magazine, Kalahari Review, On-the-high Literary Journal, Heart Balm Literary Journal, Konya Shamsrumi and other online platforms. He tweets as @AyeEcho


  1. The images in these poems strike with directness that we seldom read; and so the poems force us to look. I have no choice: I think that I had read these three poems as carefully as Echo wrote them. Somehow, it felt like Echo was able to make me parse them as deliberately as he imagined the order of each line and the details he would choose. This was great. Also, heavy. Thank you.

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