Felix Bongjoh

Shisong-Bui, Cameroon
Felix Bongjoh
Shisong-Bui, Cameroon
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What Animal Squirms


Black cat trapped
in a black cloud,
a labyrinthine trap
trailed in the air,

sailing, dropping,
spiraling down
to a cemented terrace.

It squirms, inches
into a corner
and slides to the right.

It dives back
to the center
of its stretching space,

dragging dry tree leaves
sprayed to rattle
on the balcony's floor.

The sun flashes
a fiery torch
on the animal, its eyes
twinkling, splashy silver

in a space shaking its face
into the crystal skin
of a sunlit wrinkled piece of lake.

Pushed and tossed off again
by the sunny wind,
the cat purrs,
screeches and screams
and snarls in a high pitch,

as touching bobbing leaves
from tree branches
brush and spank it into silence.


As the hot wind puffs
grow stronger
in the drifting black cloud,

and the sun stretches out
brighter and brighter
condor-breadth wings,

a black yelping puppy
sticks out its head
devouring air with a squirming
gaze in a tilted wriggle.

The young dog whimpers
at the balcony's edge,
the dark cloud covering it
under the hot sun.

As a sharp dose of sunrays strikes
the baby animal
whining and sniveling

in the cutting wind
pulling and pushing
a lumber jack saw
through the woody dry air.

As the animal's eyes
show a wiggle from fear
crawling through,

its ears flap into the lobes
of a baby goat kid
carrying a clarinet
in the shivering lilt of its bleat.


In the hot sun,
the cloud hangs over
the wriggling animal,

as it bleats
and whines and sniffles,
and groans
with a lion's throat
and crawls to a stop.

What animal
in the hot sun stretches
itself out
into a black cellophane sheet,

a ruffled and partly
ripped plastic bag
tossed up into air to land
with an eagle's claws,

the snarling cat tiptoeing
the yelping puppy
fleeing along
with the bleating goat,

as the black cloud
of a plastic sheet
lands on the balcony's deck
and slowly creeps off,

in the twisted feathers
of a limping hawk.

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4/17/2021 4:16:32 AM #