a love poem, after
a prayer will not fill the void.
loneliness is salty salty drops of yourself
taste like butter slippery, melting into
nothingness; a thousand prayers is
not enough pills for forgetting memory is
a bro- ken mirror your body is
a warm tea in a leaking cup.
this is what grief tastes like:
the river runs into the ocean, silence eats
into the fabric of your soul, you are
a small bird creeping into itself for warmth
electricity dies in your veins the cold seeps through your bones
could she return you would mold
your heart into a sweet song, lay it
an offering at her altar her body, which
you call a feast, a temple, the world would be
smaller no reaching for things you never get, all memories
become heaven your palm a petal
opening itself to the sun.
a crab digs a hole in your soul, deeper deeper
deeper still you are finding home—
home is a lone street on a moonless night
without stars you spread your voice
a bouquet of flowers in the wind, may it
bear it far fireflies touch the night with colors
you cannot say what a touch of light is
every color is red in your eyes, droop-
ing down her thighs, a cry is layered.
By Ernest O. Ogunyemi
Ernest O. Ogunyemi is an eighteen-year-old boy singing in words from the corner of his room in Nigeria—to the world. His works have appeared in Kalahari, Praxis Online, Literally Stories, Acumen UK, and elsewhere. He is learning to walk on water, not when it freezes.