In the morning, you are fire bristling through the sheets as the remains of your last night’s body wobbles her way out.

The air in you nestles against your what is and what is yet to be. Your hot morning breath dances to its own sonorous music as if to say: I hate it here.

Suppose the sun’s party has made its way through the looking glass. 

At first hijacking your will to see your lover laid ghostly on the couch against his friend Jack Daniel.

Suppose you are the Everest he struggles to climb in the morning. And at night, you are river Zambezi, the smoke that thunders, crashing through the ceiling of his heart. You are wonder and calming storm. He is ritual and resistance.

The limb of you reaches out, almost knocking off the frail weight of the home you both share. Your many woman barely fits in, as you cradle his skin fabric searching for the story of you that once lived there.

For Men With Fearful Hearts and Fearless Penises

Three lone figures on the sidewalk railroad me
one of them; my lover, embroidered with the gait of a stranger
their words; his words burn like sulfuric
with the same tongue that once said: I love you

They call me dirty tranny
say my shoulder is like a linebacker’s
they call me Sir Barry White, not because of the singing
say my face is brick; could build a whole stadium

When his palm lands on my face
I imagine it is foreplay; the streak of skin
brandishing my follicles
like the time he sang a mean chorus between my thighs

When the swing of hips knock me to the ground 
I’m haunted by a fray of my shadowy reflection: 
my sturdy jawline beckons, calling me out,
telling me how I deserve this reckoning

My five-o-clock shadow dances in its luminous glow; 
celebrating this beatdown for all the years I loathed it
my large hands beam at full capacity 
telling me how much bones they can break but not telling me how.

He came again tonight, like yesterday never happened.
He came, I came: Together our bodies conjuring 
and colliding bodily streams.
his silence spoke in platitudes, his face carried the weight of promises

Next time, don’t walk the path if you see us, so I don’t have to hit you
Again. You know I had to do that, right?

His words at the collision of fear and commination
suddenly, this big foot no longer scares him
rather, he dances to the music of it

Here, I’m no longer a visual signifier that needs to be silenced
I’m just a body, and he’s a servant to it
as he meditates to every fabric of my skin
the hollow in his eyes thankful for double D’s that have turned to triple D’s

As he leaves, his feet hovers, barely landing
eyes peer the peephole, looking for God
my ferocious 2a.m lover has morphed into a scared little boy.

Noni Salma is an Award winning screenwriter and Filmmaker and transgender activist whose growing up experiences in the colorful city of Lagos, Nigeria has inspired her story-telling. The most recent feature film she wrote: ‘We don’t live here anymore’ earned her ‘The Future Awards Prize’ nomination for screen producer of the year and best screenplay at the ‘Best of Nollywood Film Awards’ all in 2018. She has won several awards for her short films including the Manhattan Film Festival Awards.
She is currently an MFA candidate at Vermont College Of Fine Arts where she’s majoring in Writing and Publishing.

Feature image: Gareth Harper (Unsplash)