By Sarah O. Oso
they don’t want to be kept
They fly away by their own devices,
biting down on earlobes,
pretending to slip like a cup
out of clumsy hands
One parachutes from a pocket,
a purse, to the ground
Another drapes a purple flag
over the windowpane of an eye
Ours escapes through the walls
See how the body curves
into its telltale YES—
and now that loud bell ringing
in your throat—
Self-portrait as Dragon
No, the soul won’t shed its skin of scales.
Instead, it stretches—then learns to coil
corkscrew-style, into circle
over tight circle:
one brooding head, two tucked -away wings,
and the rest
all tail—an endless spool of self.
What the hell, then, can a continuum know
It’s all it’s ever been—balancing
like the tallest tower of coins—one rope piling
high. I’ve always sighed that cool taste of fire.
Sarah O. Oso is a Nigerian-American writer, poet, and storyteller. A first-generation immigrant and proud Atlanta resident, she commits to honoring the human experience through highlighting the importance of spoken and written expression. Her poetry crosses the bounds of genre and language, and often explores the intimacies of identity, heritage, human connection, and faith. Numerous local readings and art events, including the annual AJC Decatur Book Festival, Poetry at Tech, Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival, and ArtsXchange have featured Oso’s work, and her poetry has been Pushcart Prize nominated, currently appearing in New Ohio Review, Rigorous, and Passengers Journal, among others.