(after “Dim” by SYML)
forgive me this one last time, for before this letter, was a lineage wiped out by a
raging storm. before the storm, a troubled ghost, howling in & out of a
graveyard & before the ghost, a levitation of fragile bodies upon a pool of blood.
Homecoming: two years after, your hands still stroke my back at night.
I relive the memory in my head: I want to unmake the evening you were washed
in formaldehyde. So, to begin with, i tremble into your embrace, lit a
matchstick on your grave & keep you close to your casket. I want to undo god’s
vengeance so I cast a spell over a familiar country, dance into a body
to call back a dream. Tonight, I hold your name against a wall & I burn the relics
of war beneath my fingertips—a handful of teeth. I make a home with
a ship & I lug it over the surface of water into a territory where birds sing
skysongs & call my mother into a sacred room. Can you hear the
screams of a girl child, father? the rage in the throat of a lonely woman & shrill
tunes in the gazes of a broken boy? a departure: Purge me, father, for
I have fused a ruin into my body. I search for the silence on your tongue: your
coffin, lowered faraway, far, away, shut, deep into where you kiss the
violent skin of earth.
Ayomide Festus is a Nigerian poet. His works have been published or are forthcoming in Ice Floe Press, Quality Poets Review, After the Pause, the Eriata Oribhabor monthly review of Poets in Nigeria, Misfit Magazine and elsewhere. Co-winner of WRR-CAPRECON Green Author Prize 2015, and a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. He was shortlisted for the 2017 Chrysolite Team ranking. He writes from Ibadan, Nigeria. You can say hi on Twitter: @Ayomidefestus8.