Revisiting Io

loving
is dying stupid like a cow
surrendering its neck to knife
its eyes saying: take me, take me
take me into the hands of men as
— a piece of meat

does it matter if the knife thinks
it is helping the cow find peace
hidden in abodes where
cows don’t wake up
to tied legs or a cart
casted behind them?
does it matter if it
tears through flesh
& water spills out in
the color of red wine
before murmuring:
“peace unto you cow,
you can only be beef once”?

in the end, my friend,
we are all cows seeking love
in the edges of knives
hoping to become Io*
— a piece of myth

*According to Greek mythology, Io is the human lover of Zeus whom he changed into a cow when his wife was approaching so she didn’t catch him cheating.

Trust Tonji is too confused to choose, he doesn’t have a particular favourite. He is the winner of the 2018 edition of the MLK slam competition, organized by the US embassy in Republic of Benin. He writes from Porto Novo. His poetry has appeared in Prachya Review, Synchronized Chaos, Kalahari Review, African Writer, Praxis Magazine, The Electronic Pamphlet, and elsewhere.

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