A Mouthful of Home
Cover art by Tariku Shiferaw
The poems in Tryphena Yeboah’s collection… are a raw, stunning articulation of what it means to live in the world with a sense of self that is both damaged and resilient. They reside at the intersection of faith and despair, loss and hope, wound and healing…Lauren K. Alleyne, from the preface
The Body as Proof
On the TV, the faces of the three girls missing are a blur,
they’ve been gone for sixty days and a woman
shown rolling on the floor, wailing,
can only be one of the mothers.
The journalist, unsure about what to do next, kneels
beside her and pushes the microphone to her mouth.
Sometimes, in bringing out the news, throats must
be cut open where they’ve been shut for good.
“What would you like to say to the government?”
The woman is barely moving now, her eyes
caught dead on camera, a shallow sound, a loud emptiness.
Absence from the body is death
and a grieving mother is more at peace knowing
their child is dead than not knowing at all.
A half-eaten body is consolation.
A body returned by the mouth of the sea is consolation.
A body with parts missing is consolation.
We give everything as proof of death to replace
having to attend burials in our minds for the rest
of our lives—graveyards everywhere we look.