From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

The Himba Destroyer

after artwork by Jahbulani Ori

i.

I met a god today
he sat by
the window in economy
no leg room
so he crumpled
his long legs to fit
I asked him of his flight
where he was
going? he pointed

to the night sky & city below
the lights poor
imitations of stars.
the black night is my skin
worlds are little round pimples
fat with pus to pop
earth would be the kind that bleeds
on its way out 

ii.

The Destroyer told me that I could be earth’s last advocate. if I could convince him that this world is good, perhaps he would reconsider. I laughed. he sat next to the wrong one. perhaps first class holds a hero. are you scared? he caressed the blue bump on his forehead. I told him of aliens. humans fear life on other planets, worry about invasions. he dug his nail into the zit that believes itself the center of the universe & asked do you? my bones are tumors, my blood has tasted armageddon & the after. little green men pale in the wake of ships launched against my dark. what is here for me to keep? bring forth the saucers. take me up in a beam of light. my people already survived the apocalypse

 

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu. A Zimbabwean woman in a red dress with a traditional multicolor tribal necklace standing in front of a waterfall.

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean sarungano (storyteller). Her debut short story collection, Drinking from Graveyard Wells (University Press of Kentucky, Spring 2023), was selected for the 2021 UPK New Poetry & Prose Series. Her novel manuscript in progress was selected by George RR Martin’s team for the Worldbuilder Scholarship to attend Clarion West in 2022. She is pursuing her MFA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she teaches in the writing program. She has taught at Clarion West Writers Workshop online and earned her BA at Cornell University. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Tin House Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers Workshop, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. She received the 2017 Cornell University George Harmon Coxe Award for Poetry selected by Sally Wen Mao, and was the 2020 fiction winner of Columbia Journal’s Womxn History Month Special Issue and the 2021 Black Warrior Review Fiction Contest winner selected by K-Ming Chang. She is the co-founder of the Voodoonauts Summer Workshop for Black SFF writers. Her work has been anthologized in African Risen (Tordotcom Publishing, 2022) and has appeared or is forthcoming in F&SF, Tor.com, Fantasy Magazine, Columbia Journal, Fiyah Literary Magazine, Mermaids Monthly, and Kweli Journal. She is currently at work on a novel.