Mona Lisa’s Abecedarian to Leonardo da Vinci

all they’ve said about the painting is a lie‚ except my being a sphinx of

beauty. to think they’d ever

call me a vampire feels unbelievable‚ until you remember that I’ve been

dead more times than I’ve been alive. the truth remains, my

eyelashes had been plucked and fed to fishes. the untold story goes, they died. once‚

falling backwards into a sea was fun until I learned about

getting drowned. what I can say about being sneaked out of the Louvre is, it

has taught me more about impermanence than betrayal. I must say

inexpressibility was not a disease I suffered from. I loved being beautiful

just like the moon loved quietude. with

kneeling before repressed desires, I’m undoubtedly hopeless. I’m

learning how to be something softer than a work of art; that

my name wouldn’t have been my name, if you didn’t call me so.

never had virtuousness come to me easy. once, I said faith & waited for God to fall

out of my mouth. while sitting in a bulletproof glass, a woman

pelted a ceramic cup at me. I wondered if she’d rather offer me water to

quaff next time. I hear on the news that

roughly 1.7 million people are willing to pay

so much money to see my face. Leo, is it that

they do not know where my grave is?

usually, there’s always a man confessing his love to me but

Vinci‚ I fear I can’t love if it isn’t as much as you loved canvases. I fail

while trying to conjure ways to not feel

x-ed out of this generation. I struggle to smile when all I want is to

yawn my way out of this box. sometimes, I think of you a

zephyr‚ other times, a tornado.


(Editors’ Note: “Mona Lisa’s Abecedarian to Leonardo da Vinci” is read by Matt Peters on the Uncanny Magazine Podcast, Episode 40B.)


Abu Bakr Sadiq

Abu Bakr Sadiq is a Nigerian poet. He is the winner of the 2022 IGNYTE Award for Best Speculative Poetry. His work is nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Rhysling Award and is published/forthcoming in Boston Review, Palette Poetry, FIYAH, Uncanny Magazine, Augur Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, Covert Literary Magazine, Zone 3 Press Magazine, Iskanchi Press & Magazine, Lolwe, The Lit Quarterly, Rockvale Review, Best of New Myths Anthology, and elsewhere. He writes from Minna. Find him on Twitter @bakronline.

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