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Version 2.0
by Rosemary Esehagu

Version 2.0, new and improved.

Not better than or equal to.

You call her woman.

Somehow the efficiency of her creator

in not needing so much raw material,

was proof of her second-rate status,

of her continual dependence on man.

Never mind that this woman

has complete form, lacking no part,

that her beauty brings men

and nations to their knees,

that her mind, its capacity

to nurture, inspire or

contemplate multiple variables simultaneously

is unparalleled,

a mystery to man. But alas

maybe it’s much simpler,

perhaps the relationship between versions

is big brother and little sister.

Then where is the protection,

the responsibility of their elder?

Where is the focus on advancing

the young, sacrificially,

almost to a fault?

Perhaps instead it’s like the big brother fuming,

sharing attention and recognition.

And so, throws tantrums,

like thunder raging in the sky,

provoking parents to buy

a watchful eye that alerts to mischief

from big brother’s sister.

Version 2.0.

Why were you created?

Before We Get Too Old
by Rosemary Esehagu

I watched you leave.

You slammed the door

but, at the last minute, changed your mind

about slamming it.

You caught the cacophonous bang of the door

with your hand whose four appendages

paid the price of your indecision.

You left,

suffocating your yell,

just as you prepared to free them.

Your face wrinkled like the lines

of the crumpled newspapers that broke the day’s bad news.

Your hands fisted and readied to pounce,

but you did nothing, except leave—

another argument we could not have.

We owed so much debt and pain

from the others we have yet to settle.

You walked away, never once looking back,

your head held up high,

your feet dragging so I heard each sluggish step

for seconds more after my eyes could no longer see you.

A tear from your eyes, even if borrowed

or an act aptly executed for a time like this,

would have released the ocean behind my eyes

and released memories of why we were.

I would have remembered

your jokes that cause bursts of teary raucous laughter or

your gazes at me that beseeched the world

to pause so you had time to take me in,

your heart salivating in yearnings for me.

I would have remembered that time at the beach

when we licked the salty water from each other’s skin,

quenching our thirst with each other,

then watching the waves fall upon waves,

splashing and frolicking with no shame under our adoration.

I would have then had the courage

to call your name,

to call you back to me.

Sorry.

Rosemary Esehagu is a native Nigerian who currently lives in Texas. She is the author of the novel, The Looming Fog. Her poems have been published in Plum Recruit, A Little Poetry, African Writer Magazine, and Elephant Journal. She loves to explore the mind and how external forces play a role in its development and health.

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