broken record

father calls me the name of a song that doesn’t deliver is a boy contrived in the image of his father or does the image grow into the boy father traces the history of boys with the bottom of a bottle malik usman korede abdul are the stories of how my father became my father how abdul became his father mother sews a button into the hole of my shirt her skin shrinks as she makes a bowl of porridge we lay four plates on the tray and pour one for my sister who walked into the tides and did not appear i look in the mirror and fade into the past abdul strutting into a hut with puffed shoulders abdul panting & sighing as he drowns a streetwalker in seeds that become father mother plays the song she loves from a broken record mother calls the mirror a storyteller of history mother sews a hymn into my mouth a boy sometimes is oxygen what she means to say is i am a by-product what she means to say is if you want to find me, do not wait for me here…

Michael Emmanuel is an Associate Editor at Praxis Magazine. His works have appeared in Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, and in Kreative Diadem’s Rebel issue in 2019.

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