After We Ruin My Love’s Heart,
the God of Annihilation Prays Back to Me

Kemi Alabi

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O brick fist,

storm’s eye, twitching

guardian of angels cast

as devil-to-be, tell me: how has

the ammonia cloud & rootshred of

your bed, blazing crash site, kept your

hands casket-still, ghost-

cool? praise

ye treeless planet,

my bleach & flame-

forged mirror:

twinning the dark, your faith

burnt silk

, my sweat-drenched slip,

the truest skin I know—

O scalpel-crowned

roach king, salivating

into the blister-white void—

that all breath & sweet mud heart earned

you? whole home devoured.

all-knuckle, unblooded

desire: malware mimicking

the body, now one burst seam.

O frothing ocean of

licked bone,

what does one call a god

with no worshippers? where’s the

thread between freedom & death

when you’re

the last one left?

Kemi Alabi reading “After We Ruin My Love’s Heart, the God of Annihilation Prays Back to Me”

Kemi Alabi is a queer Black writer from Wisconsin. Their poems and essays live in Catapult, Winter Tangerine, BOAAT, Nat. Brut, Apogee Journal, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic and elsewhere. As editorial manager of Forward Together, they hold down Echoing Ida, a home for Black women and nonbinary writers. Find them in Chicago or online @kemiaalabi.