Sometimes, it is the door & a consonant of creaks always
behind it, other times it is just the heart unmasking
itself behind worry’s blur sacristy, a horse bothered about weather.
No alphabet sounds as heavy as g yet you wonder why it’s
the main entrance into grieve, grief, grudge? I’m not sure about this,
but one thing na for sure: grief will always be a butchery —
grief go always get plenti voices, it doesn’t have to be anything
that has a name in my dialect or yours. The clock on my wall ticks
a mantra that’d snake its way into my nightmares, & on lonely days,
when I lie down inside the fever of my own fear, I’d imagine
a small animal inside it, the tick tock of its heart plummeting
against its body —a miracle that is not even miracle enough.
In this poem I’m a dusty vase, but I’m already broken in like 50
other poems, & even me sef dey try piece myself together,
e get why. It is not a crime to have something to imagine —
say: the body a song inside a storm. Once, I spoke my
name into the eyes of a dog just mek i see how e go react?
To tell you the truth: most days, I go just siddon dey
think of the korret trails to death. It’s not a crime to walk towards
something that is larger than your life na. Of all things to do,
loss sits by a man who is not my father but has my father’s
smile. Can you even imagine that? —a man morphed into metaphor.
& honestly, no be ordinary eye say pesin go just say e wan
shut all the doors to light. I don dey talk too much, but
there is still a whole vowel of blackbirds monothonged in my
mouth. It is not all that bad to sit inside the groves of my grief
listening & watching the birds fly by, the doves, the bats
& the songbirds, their wings a prayer motioned towards a god.
*This poem is written in Nigerian & pidgin English