‘Cegenated’ and other poems by Anora Mansour

Saturnian Girls

Orbit of cramped pantaloons
you offered painted blood
as an apology my love.

And I take it in turns
to disavow the tureen
of your torment —
your stone soup
its coagulated colours
seared by Farsi tea
and a spoonful of breast milk.

You often fantasise about
my forest path cries
amongst the de-coupled tombs
where the travellers sleep
and porcelain panthers creep.

Some womenfolk are
screws to their kin
guards grasping for that infinite love.
The needle that weaves time.

Wicked you made me weep
over identity papers lost
and then I knew
you’d become another Him.
One of the happenstance
patsies of pain.

Greedy confessors
whose tittle are a fiddle
from the hush city streets.
Their fistula make you say Aha.

I must shake the rack
this bacchanal ruin
your Thanksgiving banquet
for the baying peasants.

Beware the Saturnian sea-girls
clutching sharp pink conch
behind their backs,
their chosen weapon of defence.

Detroit Waters

I’ll soon be free
yes, restless me.
Glass holding up honky tonk hells–
Leaden water cities
singing of bullet bells.

The mouths of youth
one sip distempered
foamed then part demented.
Their thirst dissolved whole thoughts
into plastic playthings.

Mountains of mercury fill land up-
Between Detroit asbestos and Toronto festivals
only tide and crime
heave out mutual shots off Lake Insanity.
It’s cry of brown captivity.

Fallacy of Visions

The first burn mine blush
Fallacy of visions.
This last rain
a pageantry of his working hands
before I smarted down
stuttering shambolic
through the peeping
came Patrick!
Unrequited starling-look
here take my wrists
for tether is better
than no touch at all.

You told me fluted truths
left you full of cream
asleep in dewy fields.

I come from any shelf
my skull speaks continents.
Babel, not sign language
a punch bowl of gooseberries
wet with hours.
Seeded with tears.

Libyan Boat

Ghosts inflated on the Med
woman with her child dead
for she weighs more
than mariners must
than raw atomic dust
fawn umbilical chronicles to be thrust.

We shall soon devour hard green pears just to see
that dawn chocolate skin is ever sweet at sea
and joy moments under moonstones of Crete.

A grim desert tale blows north oh so cold
of spare bloated body parts to be sold
A bright circle of tellers laughing far too bold.

Conquest not consent creeps in my bed
only then can the phantom rest his head
lapping for the onyx shore
Whispering “non aver paura”.


Here is the dusk baby plucked
for the reading of luck
the tumbledown tarot rhymes
menthol and black stubbed grime.

Here is the child indigo
whose mumbled tale is Esperanto
paid for with a slap and a diva’s shriek.
And she a frozen caste freak
watches the blind elephant dream.
While the deaf guard chews gum
to the clap of a shoe
so now she only nibbles nails for her food.

Here is the child too mute
to point to the clues
the horseshoe in the kitchen
spent salt and the sang-froid within.
Shouts on the line and gunpowder cops
black telephone cord snips
by Mother raving “Tis I who am the plot!”

Here is the child
a ruin inside.
Here is the child
who stops growing
at five.

Saturnian Girls and other poems © Anora Mansour

Anora Mansour is a graduate of the University of Oxford. She lives between Oxford and Dublin. She has been published in a collection of Jazz Poems, various online sites, and has her own published collection of poetry and blog. She is African-American and Irish.

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