i drew the coal from the fire

i drew the coal from the fire
and branded my heart in its grip
till my heart was the color
of the sun sinking in the west

i seized the day from the sun
and held in my right hand the moon
let day be like night
and night be darker than the heart of evil

i swore to slay many
a million
in my wrath, when I had
pressed the sun to my breast
…to redden my heart.

i cupped the alligator pepper
in my hands, small but tough
like nut,
i would rub it into the eyes,
nose and face of those
who chant change
but will never change

As i chose each seed
Mother with a smile
that said stop, said
Your eyes would redden.

i smiled
and told her I am a man
a man with a red heart
a man who wore the sun for cloth
and prided in his cap – the moon.

so i went
to make them cry
blood tears…
to make their nose spring
– to see them lick the top
of their mouths like children
in need of sweets.
i rubbed the seeds around their
anus, till they jumped and screamed, till they opened their anus to the wind, and we saw it
dark and red,
and we knew they were men like us,
that all men’s anus is unclean
black or white
rich or poor.

satisfaction came like a refreshing breeze in the night
when a man is mounting heights
during the dry season
or like the first rains that
soften the earth.

and i danced home, blowing
songs into the wind, like
an old hunter calling attention
when the hunt is good.
and a fly flew into my eyes

i forgot my hands were not for the eyes a friend
and brushed my eye with my finger
ease came first
but then the sharp pain
like a thrust from the spear of the sun when we stare at the fire.
i danced like a woman who lost her child in the woods,

and a fly buzzed at my anus
i slipped my hand in my pants
to kill the fly,
and my hand kissed my anus
and i felt the pepper

i opened my ass to the wind

my nose ran like a stream after rain,
and i tried blowing my nose
as i drew closer to home
but i ran mad…

and Mother came telling me
He who must tame a buffalo
must learn from those who have.
The stones you throw at the market
mostly hit your head.

i said sorry but Mother said
No sorry after the pain. Learning is all that matters.

Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí writes from Nigeria. A short story writer and poet, his works have appeared in magazines and on blogs such as Naija Stories, Tuck Magazine, PAROUSIA Magazine, Acumen Issue 91, and African Writer Magazine, and are forthcoming in the Kalahari Review, the BPPC poetry anthology (2018). He was a top ten finalist in the BPPC May poetry contest, for his poem “This Dream” and was longlisted earlier this year for the Art Prompt Writing Contest for his three-hundred-word story “Without Life”, which later appeared on his blog: https://ernestiyanda.wordpress.com. When he is not writing he is reading or dreaming or listening to Brymo or just looking at the beautiful covers of great books, they have a healing-feel to the mind.

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1 Response to i drew the coal from the fire

  1. Pingback: Of little beginnings – Unknown

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