Personal Medusa

Do not call me now

I do not want to answer

I am pretending

to not be me

while these tears find their

paths slow, zig-zag


across my cheeks

the way a train bends

itself to the music of rails–

like a snake going home

I want to beat myself

like talking drum


until I wake up in

the mouth of a dancing song

magic enough to charm

the viper winding

along my cheeks

back into my eyes


Myth of sleep

after so much try, you lay on your back

& the whole world is asleep

your ceiling becomes a flat screen tv

there’s always this problem channel

where worries are shown in series


garnished with the eighth wonder

of the world:

how my brother begins snoring

immediately his back meets the bed


you’re not even a zoologist

& you know how many dogs barked

before the cocks crowed


by morning, only those who slept

will wake up

others will stand up carrying a

pregnancy of night in their eyelids


strength will miss like sleep

in the eyes of night guards,

in the eyes of a nightshift nurse

checking for awakening on

the face of a thermometer

before examining the eye

of a sleeping patient


willing her to not wake, whispering:

enjoy your sleep now while it lasts

unless you want to count stars

for a living



About the Poet

Trust Tonji writes from Porto Novo, Republic of Benin. His poetry has recently appeared in the Around This Fire response chapbook series at Praxis Magazine Online.