Cento for Lagahoos

Who do we think we’re kidding?

As if the threshold was

the infinitesimal, too—

but spirit does linger.

Bring honey, a black lamb,

two firearms, and a woman’s dress,

with the turning of the moon.

Soon, I will turn thirty. Hope for the best.

Hunting is my living, see, and I take

away from this haunted space.

Loosen my language from my teeth.

Many things have tried to kill it.

It will hurt still, but not for long—

for a moment I’m scared that this will be worse.

Easier to gnash, better to howl with.

The root of the word monster

the sound of fuck you up

pressing deep into me, splitting me—

but they will see what I see.

Good lupo, optimum dog.

I guess there are worse names.1



1This poem entirely comprises lines borrowed from the works of the following poets (in order of initial appearance): Charles Wright, Adele Gardner, David C. Kopaska-Merkel and Kendall Evans, Shivanee Ramlochan, Rebecca Buchanan, Herb Kauderer, Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Nicholas Laughlin, Jeff Crandall, Cindy O’Quinn, Amal El-Mohtar, Roger Bonair-Agard, Toby MacNutt, Jeana Jorgensen, Nate Marshall, Deborah Davitt, Jessy Randall, Vahni Capildeo, and Roger Dutcher.



Brandon O’Brien

Brandon O’Brien is a writer, performance poet, teaching artist, and game designer from Trinidad and Tobago. His work has been shortlisted for the 2014 and 2015 Small Axe Literary Competitions and the 2020 Ignyte Award for Best in Speculative Poetry, and is published in Uncanny Magazine, Fireside Magazine, Strange Horizons, and New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean, among others. He is the former Poetry editor of FIYAH: A Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction. His debut poetry collection, Can You Sign My Tentacle?, available from Interstellar Flight Press, is the winner of the 2022 Elgin Award.

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