“Erectile Dysfunction as a Variant of Skototropism” by Pamilerin Jacob

Pamilerin Jacob


I do not know how to ripen            when my lover undresses

this was not how we began            I have a history of ripening 

in public places—at Dominos when she rubbed my thighs

under the table, with her feet. in church when she hugged

me tightly, whispered I want it       her tongue flicking

my ear—I was born chasing light. never one to turn

eyes from the sun.                              so

where did the body learn this allergy     this 

aversion to turgidity     my lover undresses & I stay drooped 

like a towel       silent as a table.            no one teaches you

how to grieve an erection                    this is a side effect

of buying happiness from the psychiatrist           the meds

mistake your hardness for an obstacle              liquefy your resolve.

luster peeling off my skin,

I miss the days     when 

staring at a mannequin   too long   could stir 

       uprisings in my shorts …   

from Rattle #65, Fall 2019
Tribute to African Poets


Pamilerin Jacob: “I am a Nigerian poet and mental health enthusiast. My idea of fun is a bowl of chocolate ice cream and Khalil Gibran’s poetry. I hope to be a lecturer someday. I write poetry because it is the only place where the past can be stilled, looked in the eye, and torn into. A cat person, I enjoy listening to Thich Nhat Hanh’s talks on mindfulness.” (web)

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