my actions are dust, my words are breath

I will speak till my voice is dead. Mother says
actions speak louder than words but there is
no truth in that, because the only thing I cease
my breath to express, are my words.
Because whenever I speak, I feel a piece of my life
travel out of me to settle like seeds in the hearts
and minds of listeners, growing perception.

And I understand the strength of a voice
because I’ve seen ordinary men become gods
with theirs, gods with the ability to create
everything and anything with their tongue just
like this universe was created. So I protect my voice
more than I do my heart because it is the only treasure
no one can take without my permission. A treasure filled
with words that carry my wisdom and my ignorance,
words that carry my history and that of my father’s,
that carry my sins and that of my forgiveness,
that carry my story which hides or reveals
my intentions depending on the language I use

with words that carry my dreams and exult my fears.
So I am what I say and what I say is who I’ll be
because words are soul and actions are the flesh
that clothe them. And I may be wrong about everything
but if there’s one thing I know to be true,
it’s that I’ve never seen a body live without a soul.

Jay Kophy is a Ghanaian poet and writer whose poems have been published by Kpodola, Kalahari Review, Filmore’s Floor and other literary publications. You can find his works on his personal blog or on Twitter: @jay_kophy.

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