The Almost Love Poem of Eloise and Kofi

When Eloise tells Kofi she wants a divorce,
he sits naked on the kitchen floor skinning
an ox tongue to prepare Eloise’s favorite dish.
Blood trickles down his fingers onto the floor.
This is not in my head, in my head the bruised
organ is in the hands of Eloise and she almost
loves Kofi. What a strange word, almost.
I look at the rain clouds and they almost seem
to stagger. When did I last have a drink?
My stomach feels heavy and a urinous smell
stays where Kofi sits naked. So what if Eloise
wants a divorce? She is made of stubbornness.
Kofi is not thinking about the ox as he marinates
its tongue in a basin of tomato juice. Eloise stands
there, insisting on a divorce as the blood mixes
into the tomato juice. A pause. Kofi has a chance
to recover his patience and pull it over himself.
They have many times pressed their bodies together
and peeled them apart—elation. Love is a wretched,
wretched thing. Eloise wishes Kofi would put down
the tongue and say something.
More Poems by Brian Gyamfi