THE ROAD Somewhere, in a time that is not Christmas & seasoned love, people are just getting what they want. Birds are migrating. My mind still lingers on the asphalt skin of the road. Running is when there is a shadow of a vulture over a man's house, & everything he touches erects him a headstone. I do not worry about tomorrow; I let my oary wings flap me into the mouth of a spring, because only there can I lug my existence— my hands trailing the water & my eyes seeking widemouthed daisies or the bloom of dahlias in the field of dull onyx stones. When our father lost his temper & yelled at us we searched for rest that stuck to the navel of our teeth. Joy that was unflickeringly fixed like the tendons of our muscles—unripped. What happens on the road stays on the road, silence is an instrument we all are learning to play, the sea eventually kneels to the rhythm. Everything goes up in flames, exile & exile until everyone hacks up their wildflowers. Our hair mingling with the road, we are raked by the wind onto shore. NIGHT Boys my age manned their posts after duels of stick-fighting, and watched the sky unroll itself like a rug. A traffic of stars shimmered down their heads like floating sounds. What was tasted vaguely began as a trope for sadness. Soon, the boys claimed they saw their fathers' reflection in the eye of stars. Scrum of flesh whittled by grey-guns in a time of war. Bony sacraments lodged beneath the bruised earth. Yet, they don't say it is a dream. Because just behind their homes are vivid images of cadavers claimed by a halo of flies. When I am asked to describe night, I best say: my night has frogs. They keep me awake. My night has sunflower seeds. They are scattered and forgotten like my father's cremated ash. How did I come to sit in this empty house, and wear a name that is not my own? To watch my step-father pour spittle into a liquor and sink his tongue into my mother's mouth? To watch the moon’s gait recede into something of a trot about the market place, in lieu of a surfacing. Once, I laid on a river bank with my eyes nighted, listening to the sound the river made, and then decided that swans are overrated like my problems; everything is troubled, and so all the air carries now are running footsteps, troubled water threnodies, pocket-sized grief, and bullets faster than words. When the lights go off, and the curtains are drawn, I know the eventuality of my being.
About the Author:
Prosper Ìféányí is a Nigerian poet. His works are featured or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Parentheses Journal, Lumiere Review, Caret: McGill University Graduate English Journal, and elsewhere.
*Featured image by Goran Tomic