“In Search of Plato’s Garden” & “A Small Wound of Goodness” by Timi Sanni

Illustration of a ram with light fur looking straight ahead, holding a yellow flower in its mouth, with a white flower on its forehead. There is an orange and a blue circle behind the ram and a dark gray background behind everything.

In Search of Plato’s Garden

my student loans have been forgiven.
forgiven, to mean it was a crime, a sin,
that I beheld the world and wanted
to know. i was unlucky enough—
born poor—and so, my knowing
was deadly. but truth be told,
i have only followed the footsteps
of most poor men, desperate
in their search of the garden;
laid the first foundations of my debts
till it grew, overnight, into mansions—
in this land of opportunity,
where every slit is a grave widening
to feed the capital mouth. & here,
i am the prophet, broken. i am
the son born to die. today, like all days,
the altar wants something buried
deep within my neck.
watch me give of my life, a thousand
deaths, paid in installments,
until like God, the Body forgives
and i am given a fat white ram
to celebrate my undeath. won't you
come celebrate with me? today,
the very thing that has tried to kill me
has found me worthy of grace.

A Small Wound of Goodness

after Molly Brodak
The standing theory is that if, right now, you dropped this burning world and ran across the other
worlds, there's at least one where you'd find me, a good man, back hunched over some tiny rock,
breaking a damned angel out. The truth, though, is that even here in the lungs of dystopia, I am
doomed (as all men are) with a small wound of goodness. You talk about the man I killed to save a
school of fish the education of blood. You talk about sacrifice. Yes, I too have loved a theatre full of
people who made a farce of my life. I too, beneath a red rain, have broken the walls of my mind to
build a fortress for the damned. This is the way it goes: love drums like sweet venom in the veins, and
the body shudders in preparation for what could be its last dance. The good Lord knows this: the
amount of cold our hands can take is insane. We should be less greedy for oblivion. But we aren't.
Right now, the arctic, like a giant ice cream, melts in my hand. I have nowhere to put it down. I have
no mouth to lick it all up.

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Timi Sanni writes from Lagos, Nigeria. He was the winner of the 2021 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, Lolwe, and elsewhere. Find him on twitter @timisanni.

Rachel Browne is a musician, writer and visual artist living somewhere in New England. She writes and performs in the band Field Mouse, which she formed after graduating from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in 2009. She is currently earning a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University. Follow along for the unlikely event of an update at rachelbrowne.net and on Twitter at @rachelbrowne.