Gathering Words to Paint Grief Better

“Because the year is a distance
we’ve traveled in circles”
—Ocean Vuong

you move closer to the music
giving your body warmth when silence
eats you up, this isn’t a rule
it’s the only freedom left, freedom caged
in a tin of broken suns, my plate is dirty
and a boy says
there isn’t a way to eat his next grief
            there isn’t a way to serve his sadness hot again

do we really need a plate to understand
what breed of wreckage we are spiced with?
a boy turns around and forms the shape of depression
I told him, depression is a door that keeps your
body, opened to his other half, in nothing,
when you say a room falls like a dying voice
I enter my downfall and drink some
tea: my body dripping of old movies where
water is a plot,
when you say a city beats itself into benediction
the way claps race in the heart of a vigil
I cover my nakedness with a loop of naked nights
and search my father in between an eclipse:
what the room suddenly becomes
when fire speaks a language too fluent
not to understand how to burn us,
burn us, burn us into an ash diction
and born us again
until we forget ourselves in the fetus of memories.

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

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