Poetry

Nwaoha Chibuzor Anthony: Moths and Flames

moths and flames
Image composited from Pixabay files

MOTHS AND FLAMES

“Pain, betrayal, love and a teaspoon of music are the necessities of a life longing for a massacre”

Today, darkness sneaked behind curtains
It began with silence and my tongue stitched to itself.
Two creatures pressed each other’s nose against the floor
to inhale the gloom of the dusty heaven,
The yellow sun beneath their feet
Yet, they fall six times a second
and laugh at the sin running naked on their lips.

Tell me this is not our fate
Tell me this is not how butterflies get stuck in bellies.
Our bodies swim through salty sea to the land yet to be found on the map
Our bones worship the wind
your eyes clenched to my spirit like waters around a sinking ship
and my veins sing odes of different dialects
and in languages of many accents.
Still, we stick to ourselves like the moths and flames.

I have a story – a broken song
A song searching for a blank space in your vocal cord
Begin! Sing it!
Sing a song that breaks bones in between fists,
that split poems into cracked stanzas.
Sing the song of a moth stung by flame,
Of a heart feeling a face.
_______________

I WANT TO BE A CHILD AGAIN

EVERYDAY, we mould sand as the shape of our legs as if we were creating a new moon
that makes the darkest night alive.
Beside my grandfather’s hut, we learnt cartography—sketching lines on the
ground like map roads with debris and ellipsis.
By the window, we sliced off our tongues and compared the walls with the frame of our thought,
thinking we were building huts to shield our beautiful illusions.
We never wanted to let go,
stuck to ourselves like a tether to the ram.
This is when we realized that a madman never rests until he finds a way to differentiate
the musics of a thousand eclipses from the ones of broken idylls.
We wore a bag of flesh, gazing at each other like poor children abandoned in a war zone
or like emissaries of love and hate.
I can hear the sound of a million serenades,
painted with the shrieks of the dusty earth,
women chanting praises with sharpened voices and familiar cheeks
and a god came, planting roses on our hair saying:
This is where they live—
Scars of an erased love,
Sand of salty emotions
Each night, I would dream of a glorious paradise
and hear myself saying:
I want to be a child again.

__________________

THE ROOMS IN MY FAMILY

I DO REMEMBER the tale of the strength that killed a man
and turned woods into flesh receiving scars.
I know ghosts that feed on veins and arteries and vomit them
as labyrinths and roads that lead to homes eating faces and burnt gazes
I’ve seen flames that roasted moths into butterflies
and my mouth became an abyss bereft of clean words.
In my family, we have a building with five rooms and each room contains different
images leading bodies to the fragment of a deluged spirit.
The first room has a skeleton standing naked between two bodies,
roasting the moon with the heat of the sun and singing melodies of ancient folktales.
The second room is full of wounds of angel, and a boring tone playing on repeat
and festooned with a golden eagle that held the earth with its legs.
The third one is between Scylla and Charybdis,
filled with chariots, armoured soldiers and six-legged horses
wheeling themselves into a horde of woven darkness.
The fourth is the most beautiful. Where ghosts cook the
spirits of humans and stitch flowers to flesh,
and wonder what kind of beauty a graveyard possesses.
The last room is me, an empty room with broken windows and cracked walls-
a blank space vying for a dark space—
peeling off the frayed layer of his tongue
damped with lies and truth of his multiple folds.
This is what my family house looks like–
An abandoned building in the image drawn by an unskilled maestro.

__________________

Poetry © Nwaoha Chibuzor Anthony
Image composited from Pixabay files

About the author

Nwaoha Chibuzor Anthony

Nwaoha Chibuzor Anthony is a poet and novelist. He is also a student of the University of Nigeria Nsukka. If he is not writing, then he is finding a way to change himself.

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