mandisa apena

mandisa apena

a never-ending map

where was that corner shop again?
i’ll ask every bossman east of leyton,
your full name won’t have even left my lips
and their eyes will light up like the ass of an elf bar,
point to a most wanted poster,
laugh as they name your lawless cavalier,
that litre of milk, or was it a dozen eggs, either way the carton crinkled, throat of it a london skyline,
jagged, and hidden underneath two shirts.

we are searching landfill after landfill for the missing milk/egg carton,
our nails brittle for the memory of you.
i wanna shake all your totems, all your touched objects,
to hear your laugh in the dregs of the carton rattle inside.

none of this is right.
give me the map again.
i think you’ve been holding it This Way,
you should have been holding it That.
we’re nowhere near
and the morning lump of grief has been poking my rib more than ever, lately,
hard edged and almost unidentifiable,
vibrating, the alarm of it ringing through my body.

all of that to get to the edge,
river weary,
landfilled out,
sand duneĀ misremembered as mountain and forgotten asĀ 
nothing left but our toes at the water of it all;
the one repetitive question
over and over and over and over and over
that parrots the cavern carved heart of ours
why? why? why? will you live? why?

MANDISA APENA is a cancer sun from south london. they are an interdisciplinary artist interested in herbalism, dreams and nature worship. they have a self published poetry book called and twice as bitter (2016), and have been described as ‘hilarious’.