December carves a living thing out of my grief.


An image in black-and-white of two people's hands clasped lightly together.

December carves out a living thing out of my grief and I give it to you. You are splitting this sorrow into something we both can carry. Something about hands with fire and fury collecting a weather weary body by the hips. We lie and release our anticipation in turns. Tonight, my dialect is pulling answers from your dialect. You are gathering oxygen in your mouth and you are giving it breath and body. I ask aggressively that you speak softly of loss and you ask that I speak softly of my wanting as if leniency will kindly lead this grief out of my jaws in a smooth sensation. Clinging to you is how I say, "keep everything else with you but do not deny me this body". I ask of this and I am praying to you more than I am pleading with you.



An image of Naomi Waweru, a person with long black hair looking into the camera and smiling. There is a slight red filter over the left side of the image.

Naomi Waweru (she/her) is inspired by love, vulnerability, the yearning of bodies to be free in their connection and has an eye for tradition and culture. Her writings present an adoration for the body. She portrays it as your first sanctuary. She has works on and forthcoming on Merak magazine, a voice from far away webzine, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, Kalahari Review, Poems for the Start of the World Anthology, Ampleremains, Afroliterary journal, Overheard Magazine, Artmostterrific, drr, Clerestory, Our Name is Amplify and The African Writers Review. Reach her on Twitter @ndutapoems and Instagram @_ndutapoems.