Funeral blues

at his funeral, i invoke a prayer as i pour a bottle of dry gin into the nile—like
   memories, like rusty scars peeling off a vintage foot—like tongues, lining
      with smoke & whispering piercing tones, i search for the tears in god’s eye.

my father departs into a dark coffin & the priest forbids a dance. every night my
      dream is plagued by a distorted mirror, i wake up into a room full of
         cobwebs & my mother says it is my father urging me to stay in the fight;

she calls it      dúrúdolà; the threshold of earth.

it is night again & my body is slipping through my fingers. a ship is sinking into
         hot sands at the riverbank & there is no one to tell the sailor that
            an ocean is the earth-space that god forgot to rebuild at creation.

i have found a song; a morning that dawns without bliss & flame that reaches for
            a spark—a raging storm that comes & goes & a heart that dissolves
                        into the rain, swirling the river of blood in the eyes of a lost boy.

i perceive that god is not between my legs—beneath fallen wings of nocturnal
         birds dismantled in flight—a cloak of levitation. i unplug my arm
            & ferry my bones through stagnant water. my father is laid to rest with

a body full of waiting.

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 Funeral blues

  1. Brooke F. says:

    The sad air of this poem is palpable. Wonderfully written!

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