Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah

Anchovy Holly

A shadow slithers on the rock,
where bones are whittled,
manned by an older generation,
we stop & hold your silhouette.
It’s enough to follow this gesture.
Dew recedes. We hone
the invisible breath.
A female torso drifts
along the chalk outlines
& you leave a kiss behind.
Dewdrops interlock
around her dime, you stop
& look at me & then yourself.
Something is mathematics here.
This ability to swallow labyrinth
is another Poincare, attracting
feathers & scars, you squire
so that I can’t reach your body
squinting in the sun,
I squelch through the mud.
I’ve thought better for your hands
as fresh to her as they’re to us,
she laughs until the boat rings
with your voice in irresistible sympathy,
we leave behind the murmuring low
through our unbroken silence,
she looks & listens, while her face gets
animated & my eyes are fastened on her
all the time in this carving as a relief
to the fireside with a success never attained.


The need to hold a positive & conscious kinesis
of oneself is almost a creature. I’ve acquired
its certain degree of correctness in the language
never studied before. I hide behind its strength to bolster
who I’m in the pool of some phrases in your own tongue.
I’m becoming too much obvious that nothing
is done right in its black costume when I answer points for points,
your appearance becomes everything, including penance,
penitence, & compromise, a discourse on soil remains
the vocabulary with the wet air. I leave the chimney smoking
in the streetlights behind the walls that divide us
with nervous quickness, my body is done away. The booby trap
is everywhere & I hear a gunshot & the horse bolts.
The morning looks trouble & very stupid.
The kitchen is momentarily confused
in the leftover of the food that wasn’t cooked well.
The sitting room is the red half-rotten apple.
The bedroom is a seriously wounded man.
The fat in the mouth of children is rotting, & playing
hide-&-seek on the compound isn’t boisterous,
when I’m bright in a way that looks silly or ugly,
continental plates drift, the early sun is decaying
& mothers sit near the charcoal seller gossiping.
The new confidante is back with her nurses
& we need no more complex numbers,
or your competence, or her compact disc.
The complementary angle is always complexion.
Look at the faces of these girls, hiding their breeching
bodies in your clothes, I keep the churlish cinch,
I blather with a blithe ignorance of the facts,
built in painted eyes for only chinwag,
you add wattle & daub to the banking issues.
In this waxwork that’s taken us horse-hours
to coal tar in a vertical path, I shield your body
with his dark body on the terrace outside.
I’m sorry for that, still showing underneath
the hairless flesh I’ve inherited for good.

She comes away from my observation by
avoiding that part for the neighbourhood.

Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah is the author of the new hybrid works, TheSunofaSolidTorusConductor5GenusforLLoci and Handlebody. His individual poems are widely published and recently appearing in Rigorous, Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh, The Meadow, Juked, North Dakota Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Sandy River Review, Strata Magazine, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, etc. He is algebraist and artist and lives in the southern part of Ghana, Spain, and Turtle Mountains, North Dakota.