My mother washes her grief ashore

a flower grows in a dark room
where my father’s body finds a resting place.

everything around me is fading &
the way to keep a body dry is to set it on fire.

i wake up into an empty sanctuary
& my mother’s face is an assemblage of pain.

i want to crawl up the bed in my father’s absence,
array myself in a coat variance of grief.

fingerlings like sea songs gather,
begin a requiem from my mother’s eyes—

she bears the image of a broken girl
searching for a lover’s body to dissolve into.

seven years ago, my father’s body
became a monument of silence.

my mother walks a long distance in search of
scars, & to name her loneliness,

she finds another body at the bank
of the ocean; a reinvention:

grief is the countenance we wear when
sunset arrives suddenly.

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.

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1 Response to My mother washes her grief ashore

  1. ljjanes says:

    I love the last line. So beautiful.

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