Two Poems

God’s only shadow

God’s only shadow, walking nervously around Kensington’s hills,
handed baked bread over a wall to someone who might have been a father.
All day long
bandits and schoolboys floated there, just above the ground,
and three bedrooms were turned to ten; fireplaces filled with brick.
Wrapping a bag of frozen peas around the three bones and soft in-betweens of an ankle
before tracing an index finger from the East Coast clean across America,
losing count of the things that made a difference.
Small hands

To the boy who served me two gulab jamun:
I added them to my order because I thought they’d taste like you.
Running along Ocean Parkway, I ate them all under Texas eyes,
when a carpenter’s hands made my shoulders from pine,
and raised me into a cathedral in the same woods where the train ran south.
They were small and fed up, with fingernails made of glitter and sawdust.
A year before me, when I visited, they built the church where we took communion.

Dennis Webster is from Johannesburg, South Africa. His long form journalism has been published in various international outlets, including The Guardian, and his poetry has been published in Botsotso, New Coin, the Kalahari Review and elsewhere. Currently, he is completing a PhD at Dartmouth College, where he studies the histories of trees and racial capitalism in South Africa.