the headquarters of hell

is a place
in the silence
of my lover
don’t ask me
where my tears
are reporting live from

today, I became a tree
I let her love me
the way she pleases
I let her wrap herself
like cold silence
around my life
I let her dissolve
into my heart
like nothing
worth cuddling
I let her tear
my remnant happiness
I gave her the keys
to my joy
& she locked them up
barricaded the entries

as if I am not
still that baby
in its unknowing
searching for
the formula to find x
when x is the reason
my heart let her
happen to me
like the bomb
happened
to Hiroshima

I should’ve known
that when she leaves me
I’ll be dead
& living
in the shadow
of her absence

I’ll be clinging
to the shreds
of memories
that stick
like freckles
all over my soul

I’ll be teetotaling
my life away
from this illusion
this dizzying
of reality
this tipsiness
obstructing sight
& thought
this rumour
this love
this wind
I once chased

Trust Tonji is too confused to choose, he doesn’t have a particular favourite. He is the winner of the 2018 edition of the MLK slam competition, organized by the US embassy in Republic of Benin. He writes from Porto Novo. His poetry has appeared in Prachya Review, Synchronized Chaos, Kalahari Review, African Writer, Praxis Magazine, The Electronic Pamphlet, and elsewhere.

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2 Responses to the headquarters of hell

  1. I like the simple exploration of being in relationship that this poem paints. Simple is much more difficult than simplistic, and Trust Tonji is able to do it well.

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