The Dragon Man

I was stupid enough to agree to prohibit water in my own skull:

Saliva and tears dried first when you opened your mouth.

When another white boy taught me again what it meant to be exotic:

the way to double take.

I knew the meaning of bee’s wings

dying, and still dancing, to bring honey to people

who smoke them into silence and captivity –

in the way my throat fluttered sounds

instead of words – I knew the meaning of bee’s wings:

a background buzz that you couldn’t even hear

over your roars.


I learned the art of laughing with one side of my face

and crying with the other at the Temple on the know,

against the shadows of my sisters, seared into the wall,

like a memory of flesh and blood: me.


Necessity is the centre of language.

And the hardest part

about listening to my wall

in the cold, trying to start

was recognizing I could only hum and look away

pray, simply because I thought this was more but…

Too many discussions with notes to conquer in the margins;

mine always ended up charred and erased.


I’m trying to remember other ways to be. Summer reminds me

that even the brave might shake after seeing a few days of

a dragon city with its dragon people, spilling into the world,

white scales and lizard skins that burn too easily when I accuse them of

singing my soul with fire-lined words.

And though I cannot speak for the excess heat in our conversations,

I am quickly such a string of flame, promoting your faith –

Until my throat burns unused to carrying such a torch.


Colonisation from the Dark summer stays in the abstract,

but the pointed, scaly thoughts ­of my heart grew three times in those three months

and though I am all browned flesh outside,

my body hears the voices of ghosts at the wall

resonating with the stories of my sisters in my limbs,

in my tongue, in my mouth, in my footsteps…


Tell me, have you learnt how to bur(n/y) ghosts?


And when you came to blister me

I learnt to laugh with smoke enough

to make you choke on your own fire –

roasted your throat with your own ire. 

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1 Response to The Dragon Man

  1. Pingback: A Witch Is Born | Kshyama's Attic

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