by Patron Henekou

I dote on you so much


I want us to date

In the name of the scriptures.


Oh Maria, let your will be done

And we will restart the calendar.


But you know

I’m civilized now and don’t mind having

The Baby out of wedlock

Though people gossip too much these days!


Show me your virgin boobs

Oh no, no-no-no, not in their kerchief, Maria

Let’s see if they really stand with the dots straight on them.

You never believe me:

I dote on you. I dote on you.

Well you can think or believe whatever you want.

I don’t even say I am still a virgin with silicone attractions

Oh Maria, you-miss-understands-the-world, today.

It’s not a matter of “believe”. You’ve placed your doting

On the cross. Just nail the thing up:

Anything about how you feel

And please fill in the gasps with what you want from me now

Using simple punctuations and spiritual emoji!


Maria, people are waiting to re-write the scriptures.

It’s you I want:
Your lips, full, look divinely crispy and warm
I dream to wallow in your arms like ice cube in brown whisky
It’s you I want, Gabby, and not the script-mongers of holy crushes.


Patron Henekou writes poems and plays and co-organizes the Festival International des Lettres et des Arts (Festilarts) at Université de Lomé, Togo. He writes in French and English as well and translates. His poems have appeared in anthologies such as Palmes pour le Togo, Arbolarium, Antologia Poetica de Los Cinco Continentes, and The Best New African Poets Anthology 2017, and in poetry journals such as AFROpoésie, Revue des Citoyens des Lettres, Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, The Kalahari Review, and Better than Starbucks. His published books include a play in English, Dovlo, or A Worthless Sweat (2015) and two poetry books in French entitled Souffles d’outre-cœur (2017) and Souffles & faces (2018). Patron is the 2018 African American Fellow (now Langston Hughes Fellow) at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival in Delray, Florida.



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