children of darkness

boys hide in darkness
play love with shadows
wrap themselves into
secrets—dew drops collected on green leaves
at night
to sing birdsongs in silence.

the beginning of death
is to love out loud
the beginning of fire
is to strike a match of what you are
in the hearts of those
who do not know the language
of love            the taste of fire

boys are sad stories
seeking happiness but
who inevitably end up tragic—
sometimes fire tastes so much
like joy, unlike hell

I start from here
in your mouth, my tongue
searching every corner
for my name, the world
rounding up into the nearest seconds
inside you.

to love is to begin to mutter
the language of fear
boys are embers ashamed of warmth—
the beginning of loving is learning
learning to tie your tongue
never to call his name
in the light.

Ernest O. Ogunyemi is an eighteen-year-old boy singing from the corner of his room in Nigeria—to the world. His stories and poems have appeared in Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, Tuck Magazine, Naija Stories, AcumenEunoia Review and elsewhere. He is learning to walk on water, not when it freezes.

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