calling it ruins
Or perhaps it is the case that only that which
has not been articulated has to be lived through.
– J.M. Coetzee
say you paint me an image of the sky, i would – in the storm of blue and roaring white clouds – miss the kite gliding over these mountains. when you say what, i will point out the green veins of palm and coconut trees at the horizon, say that’s a life form fading in the distance, and again miss the wind playing the kite's wings – like a harp. say you have nothing more to ask. i will duct, behind my tears, this kite that threatens to bare my life in a single flight. i hope you understand, it’s not eluded me completely, this urge to centre an attraction; after all, what other lure than the dance of heavens would have pulled the kite, hurdle after hurdle, to this height? say i live past this – will i not a take moment, ask what this ruin on your canvas is? ocean floor do not look at me in that light— i'm different. you may not see a coral bed, dirt or decayed remains. there is only an amount of light that can penetrate my depths, and it’s devoid of living sounds. even i don’t breathe here. what else you do not see is how distant life is from me, how i am more of a dim blue flame in a glacial ice. what i want is to inhabit the great blue shark, the hammerhead, the great marlin with its maiming bill. i, too, want to be prey running away from danger for a change. run, run, run. at my depth, there is no waking hour—i am always living the dream. it’s a simple one: there’s a space in time, everything is paused, no one else is here, nothing grows, and an hour in here can take a night. i want to have ship wreckages, i want to have waves crashing on me, washing me ashore every now and then at the bank of happiness. anything, anything but this lonely.
About the Author:
Precious Okpechi studies biochemistry at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is a recipient of the Singing Bullet Writing Workshop Scholarship. His works appear in Palette Poetry, Lolwe, The Shore, Kissing Dynamite, Brittle Paper, and elsewhere. He is Managing Editor at 20.35 Africa.
Feature image by Loke_Artemis / Pixabay