by Natasha Oladokun

I am in love with incompletion. –Terrance Hayes

Hardhead that I am, I look for the mate though I’m told there is none. Splorange? Floringe? Somewhere in the vast vault of language there is someone for everyone—sound and all calling back same sound, symphonic yes and amen. I’m told settling isn’t always bad. As in, we’re settling in nicely here, or, things seem to be settling down, or, I’m about to settle this once and for all. Then there’s the full-bodied range of approximation, etymology’s slick citrusy oil: door hinge, as in, where everything so much depends, stays all energy, pure potential. As in, where all possibility dwells in the fulcrum of time made material, the whole universe unraveled in a peel of almost. And what to do, too, with all the slants? Like homage, weak but earnest equivalent, bold hand of a child’s art, a whisper in the ear. Or lozenge, when the voice is all but gone, artificial tang lacing the tongue. Or porridge? Is that a stretch? There’s not a single human being that knows what the hell to do with porridge, that which feeds and leaves the body hungrier than ever. Boring, either. Boring, as in Do You Still Love Me? Getting further—foreign. As in, I am a person. How much more can I explain myself. And adoring. As in, let me be the door to your hinge. Gorenge? Am I right? Norenge? Can I get a witness? Pull out all the stops, darling. Pit by pit.

Natasha Oladokun’s poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in PleiadesImage, storySouth, Indie Film Minute, The RS 500, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Hollins University, and currently works at the Virginia Quarterly Review.