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GIGO PICK - Black Marilyn (Theresa Lola)

In Lagos, a photograph of Marilyn Monroe watches me

in my hotel room as I scrub my body

like it’s a house preparing for an estate agent’s visit.

I think Marilyn wants to say something to me,

the way her mouth is always open

like a cheating husband’s zipper.

My mind carries more weapons

than all war-­torn countries combined.

Every day I survive is worth a medal or two.

I celebrate by buying more clothes than I can afford.

I must be rich; my void is always building

a bigger room to accommodate new things.

Today I woke up surprised I was still alive,

last thing I remember was my body swinging

from a ceiling of inadequacies.

In my head I have died in so many ways

I must be a god the way I keep resurrecting

into prettier caskets.

Marilyn’s photographer, Lawrence Schiller, said

Marilyn was afraid that she was nothing more

than her beauty.

You can call me arrogant, call me black Marilyn,

come celebrate with me,

I am so beautiful death can’t take its eyes off me.

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