3 Poems │ Jaachi Anyatonwu


For Boys Who Know They Are

i know boys who are trying to fit in a bowl of social norms like new wine in a broken glass
i know boys who go to the gym, build bodies, but their souls are shards floating in the mercy of winds
i know boys who are disaster fitting in futility in a mold of faux tranquility sipped off beer mugs
i know boys who know they are this because they said they are that barely unaware of who they truly are
boys whose bodies are home to shattered dreams & cracked walls of rejections
boys whose eyes are rivers of salt particles by night, but a sky of diamonds by day lightening up dark corners of others dying in the inside
but, i also know boys who are worth more than beer bottles.
boys who give the jungle a run for savagery & beat fate to her game
boys who stand before broken mirrors & reflect the beauty of a thousand suns
boys who are worth more than broken artefacts lined up the haunted hall of discarded dreams
boys who are worth more than sad tales & moon-lit shadows
boys who know they are
boys who are worth more than the mistakes of ignorant forebears, & stereotypes of misinformed peers
boys who wear dignity like a pendant around their neck & tattoo resilience on their chest
boys who are sacred trees with fruits full & ripe & leaves ever green
boys who are self-aware
boys who know they’re not alone
boys who let no one determine their worth, emotion. passion. joy

For Boys Who Loathe Love

yesterday, a boy looked in the mirror & saw
the reflection of his father in his wedding suit.

he fists bumped the mirror & shattered
the thought of finding a wife.

today, a boy desired to know what he
looks like when he’s at the verge of climax

he peered into his lover’s eyes & saw
a reflection of his father in his funeral clothes

tomorrow, a boy will rehearse the memories of yesterday
while flipping through the pages of an old diary

his eyes will become misty with salt particles
his shoulders will drop like sun-beaten vegetables
he will desire the warmth of a woman’s embrace

he’ll get cold shivers

a boy was never a preacher
of love

For Boys at Peace with Rum

when the war in my head rages,
i find peace in a bottle of rum

Malibu mixed it with pineapple juice,
as white as her red dress would’ve been

one brugal añejo
as tan as the sand under our dancing feet would’ve been

one shot of cheap liquor
as sparkling as her eyes when our sweet love was new

seven little drops of amarula
as red as her lips would’ve been after intense kisses

a triple shot of silver tequila
as clear as my intentions & affections

which she dragged in the mud

i throw an umbrella in it,
put on my sunshades

& take one more sip
because i need remember a little less
of how deep it hurts

& drink, drink, drink
until i forget she said no with a smirk

Jaachi Anyatonwu is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachi is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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