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When We Started Taking Notes: Poems by Antony Okpunor

Image: cropped


So we could touch the sky,
we could run out of our body and wash the earth
with our conversations, we could make
grass grow with water and poems and you
were a little reluctant when I said happiness
like you knew I was not being sincere.
Maybe I was thinking of apologies as a way to
keep you alive or maybe life was telling us running meant
we were setting ourselves on fire and believe me,
flames do not keep men alive, you told me that,
you already knew what dying felt like; that’s why you should
forgive me, I’m new to this.
You said let it consume you
& honey and salt will keep you safe.
I’m still trying to break your words with paragraphs
but my mind is scared, scared of what you mean to say
as you keep looking at me as silence break hearts.
It breaks me every time, yes it does
but hey! Never remind a man he’s lost,
he will look for himself in your eyes
& when he realizes you are a river and a girl,
he will call you names of books.
So, now you know it hurts when you say you’re not a lover,
it hurts even more when you call yourself a puppeteer.



If wishes were horses,

I would call a flying bird from the wind and
stop you from turning into a butterfly. Your
wing’s flutter sends me into a maze
and my feet have forgotten about the other side of town.

If wishes were horses,

it would be nice to paint the walls
with songs. It would be a thing of beauty to
see light falling on girls—it makes you think of
Del Rey. I heard her voice broke foxes and it
was holy and it was still three days.
I was not one of them,
I was searching for the part of her that liked the
idea of eloping. That is how you write an elegy.

If wishes were horses,

I would call killers—artists.
Inside the mind of a killer is poetry and sad poems,
He tries to paint
& picture eludes him. Sometimes he sits to write
Cool and Strange, but he sees in black and white &
that’s why he kills. He is being himself. That is something we
choose to call wrong but you would have to be a
killer first to understand heist. It is not sin or penance,
it is thirst, it is hunger, it is lust.

Poems © Antony Okpunor
Image: cropped

Anthony Okpunor
Anthony Okpunor
I live and write from Asaba in Delta State. I discovered poetry as a form of self-expression from my early days of writing. Good & epic music inspire a lot of my works, some of which have been published on social media and in forthcoming magazines. At the least, I believe each one of us is a poet, we just express ourselves in different ways and with different mediums.

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