Lessons on the Body: Baptism
Keep the body three days in darkness.
the body is not whole
Drape the body at the breast.
Let the skin fall slack and cold.
the body is molasses rot
Supple the bones. Fold
down the ears. Seal the jaw.
the body is petrified blues
Stitch the eyelids to the brow.
Plug the nostrils with ginger root.
the body is splintered palm
Line the lungs with perfume.
Harvest the hairs. Drain out the gall.
the body is disrupted night
Listen for when the sea is not calm.
Carry the body to the lip of the tide.
the body is unfiltered sound
Bind the limbs with sea vines.
Rub sand where scars are found.
the body is mercurial glow
Lower the body down.
Watch the waves close.
Watch the vines float.
by Ife-Chudeni A. Oputa
Ife-Chudeni A. Oputa is a native of Fresno, Ca. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry and an MA in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is a Cave Canem and Callalloo fellow. Her work has been published in [PANK] online.