AMINU MAHMUD
Two Poems


11. WITHOUT-A-TITLE
(After Anton Chekhov)


A chapter's flung open
like sprays of leaves to light
wrung out of time
without a title.

Chekhov's characters
walked the road
with fear filtered
into slates of silence.

And with rosary
prayer was funneled
into quivering lips
with intensity...

each word inducted into
intimacy with their hearts
struck small hours...
they lacked faith.

They dreamt of curvaceous earthlings
shuffled into poles and casinos
outcropped by eyes clapping
for the fondest moment of pleasure.

They imagined
wonders of yonder
envisioned lost souls
locked in lust...

And they hoped
not to return back
empty handed
so they walked the road

neither for salvation
nor redemption
but for aphrodisiac
to excite their hearts.

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