A Netherworld by Elizabeth Robin

A Netherworld

From the frosted glass emerges a figure—
slim, quixotic in posture—with a giant
schlong ending at knees created by
trickling drops. Fertility figures

must quiver, cast sidelong glances
from their appointed Met displays.
Labeled merely “wood: Igbo” masks
the clues that narrow place and tribe.
teak? mahogany? ebony? mango?

Identity matters, she thinks, as water
slides down the shower wall, erasing
her Bangwa king, the steamy replica
her imagination conjures in a misty stall.

The crude, oversized, exaggerated hope
worries at her fevered mind. What next?
Jesus in honeyed pancakes?
Buddha in the laundry pile?

by Elizabeth Robin

Editor’s Note: Sometimes the mind plays tricks on us and sees patterns in the chaos of everyday life. However, the pivotal part of this poem lies in the center, where memory meets realization (“Identity matters…”).