In this country, it is tradition to bore a hole to the ground before explaining, with the intrusion of a knife, the red of primitive wars on the neck of a fowl____ meanwhile, the fowl____a gurgling of blood in its beak, & its futile effort to flap wings pinned to the earth with bare foot____is only an hologram of what become of Christians who sneak in pages of the holy bible into the north. My country is what you see when God takes too long to scar a wound, the rough of it teeming with pus and the smell of scabs like no smell at all when you sniff neatly around the almost-pink but pale edges. Believe me, a dry tear is a scar if the hurt is from too much trust. I have cried many times than I have smiled: the lines on my face are proof enough. Once in every while I resend our breakup texts to my ex and imagine what part of the bed she folds herself onto, her thoughts an anachronism of the good times turned ice. The other day the news reports the outbreak of a disease which soon make us appreciate little things like handshakes and hugs. Soon after, in my backyard____the cloud taking on the shape and color of a threat clutters onto a moon whose thin curve was the smile of a lover____I, a gentle stud on the earth, hollow out a tree and pour in a song every time the world reminds us of its mortality with a pandemic. I assume the hollow an ear to the thick and core of the earth, pouring in my lullaby like milk into the mouth of a babe, each note an archetype for survive. survive. This ritual, my synecdoche of the Vitruvian Man. Each interlude from my singing is a dull slosh of Christ’s blood from a chalice to the waiting mouths of disciples: hematophagia. The hilt and cross guard of a knife is crucifix enough telling from its shadow: what’s the thing with blades and sacrifice? Calvary and Caravaggio? The war and bomb in every national anthem make me ash and ash before turning my lips to the further syllables of patriotism. My country grows like regret inside my ribs. Today, in the psyche ward, my therapist, a steady drizzle of words lining out her mouth, coaches me on schizophrenia, on how I see very little in everything & everything in nothing at all. Permit me this flaw: this origami of reality. I cinch the cilice around my waist one notch tighter to check if I still feel. Early this morning, the moon in reverse steals into my room, the glow like that of a lover I will soon learn to forget or the aftertaste of a one night stand I have no memory of. In the kitchen I pick out the veins on my wrist with a knife and watch blood mingle with water around the sink. I double back to my room and hold out my hands into the fridge: what’s left of me should stay in the cold, not this burn of a world. Before blacking out____alive only by an inch____I reach for the wall and emblazon, with the red of me, an hieroglyph of how I have been holding on for too long. These last drops of life in me want to spread across the palette of Leonardo da Vinci. Soon, I’ll abiku as Mona Lisa, a mystery smile, or the wild mountains behind the sitter.
Bygones // or the boy with the issue of blood III
?all my life have I not worshipped all my fears enough
What’s left of a body after much shedding ___a snake leaves it (s)kin only to befriend a new danger. I was a song
once, the tone/weight of loss still rumble down the hollow of my bones. The moon meandering through the clouds could
be a flag; the wind sift into my bones & I pledge to loss. I was a spear once, the tip of my tongue licking flesh into wounds.
The pus teeming off a sore is how a body first announces the storm brewing within. I
am not one to let go the hem of a garment when the healing comes closing in. What if loss is God’s treasure
hunt bringing us closer to His kingdom ___every looted rib a compass? my agony lifts me onto His trail of red & I
arrive at the threshold of bygones.
Origami II // or the boy with the issue of blood IV
This body is beautiful; depending on where you keep your eyes. The trust I
have for shadows, the way they tailor transgressions into brims;
sometimes, I putrefy into a shadow & run behind every boy my age. I long
after everything paper; my hands rattling with [re]creation. My wounds
clotting/clothing into a scar of silence. Permit me this flaw, I start into a thing
and leave halfway; sailed out of a womb severing my umbilical anchor. I
was in a murmuration once, flapping my wings into every projectile
of family & fame. Oh lord, do you mean I don’t get my cut in your covenant till I
finger-count the stars? I cite Abraham under a sky of stars.
Poems © Enotor Prosper
Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash