A Verse for a Ripe Body

in seasons, the body digs
and digs unknowns before becoming a grave
for all poems of fire it has ever analyzed.

in the process of bringing the heart
between textures of grief, a city has to fall
around a sackcloth like ants forming a shape
around crumbs.

I call my darkness a city            and I see a rainbow
die on my body. I call my body a street to
places curved with memorial sacrilege,

what do you call places you lay your wounds?
what do you call places you play your wounds?

music: your body replaying why-I-hurts.

and these cities:
are the options available after my sighs
swallow a whole book plagued with what doesn’t remain,
or what I tag beautiful,

and I mean beautiful ‘cos in them I find reasons to
wear its pains on my smiles while I greet my
grandpa good mourning,
I mean beautiful just the way water sounds on ashes,

I become free like songs that do not know
where to hang their dead echoes.

I walk in my city beautifully while I wear exits
like the Lord’s prayer at night,
I cover my darkness with time, nature, gene
and Psalm 23 opened under my pillow,

I hope it grows into a chronicle
falling in an apocalypse of lime or what drowns
paper better into a proper modesty

and each time I tell my feet about places it must go
to check wounded waters, streets without light, or
a body with a yard of life not enough to cover
its nakedness,
it reminds me of my body.

Mesioye Johnson is a writer who loves the darkness of the world, hence, the gift of art he gives.

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