How to Discover Life in a Dead Body
when you first heard a thing breaks
it was your heart,
the world tendered a seat on your head and every breath
of the air comes with heaviness.
memories in the color of butterflies
and ever shining roses
fly around your head as you
lose yourself in drops of liquor.
eyes in full possession of water
and wishes come in dead silhouettes
you never known love for fragility
and so when it breaks, you go with it,
now in the threshold of fire
and suicide you stood making a wish
for sweet times,
and when you choose fire—
photographs/memories/ and everything in a breath
of her goes into flames. you set a boundary
for this thing you killed never to cross,
you didn’t remember that ashes
are the remains of the dead’s
and somehow they have life,
that’s why when we pour them away
they know how to return back to us.
in twinkle of star, she reappears
with drilling sorry in her eyes
and you discover life in the dead body.
Synonyms of Boy
My father looked at my emerging chest
and asked: do you know another name for bone?
An iron crafted into the silhouette of torment,
A handicapped camel carrying community from
Kano to California,
A caged bird crying for sovereignty.
Are you a boy? Father, I do not remember how
Or how my mother existed in your dimples,
Do I remember the last time I plucked flowers in our dining table?
You know it has all withered from the summer of violence.
You and mother have made me whatever a bone is.
Son we all have the taste of the world,
I tried my best holding the stars,
I tried repainting the rainbow that once existed in our sky,
I tried to excite the owls but can we choose the rout
Of an ocean?
Son, a man is a boy. old age doesn’t beget a different heart.
I cry/ I wish I could join the butterfly just like you/
I wish I could create laughter and make it immortal for you/
Life is mathematics with an unstable solution.
A boy is a bone. Do you care how a stone feels when you throw it
At a wall? We are stones in the hands of the world,
This fire burning you is from my body, I know son,
Maybe every boy is born to hold a sun.
Because I Was Asked Loneliness Means
I walked them to my home to first take a glimpse of bitterness,
I plucked a rose in the graveyard where my brother escorted death to,
And tell them to smell it—
One said, it smells like tears of an orphan in the teeth of heavy rain,
Another said, it is a fragrance of love left stinking in the hand of a boy,
And the other said I am the flower
waiting patiently for the sunlight
But the sun will always choose the son whose bone is rich,
And so the flower will always be under the canopy of cold shivering/
Wet in the shower of its own tears.
My tears are what I show them again,
And beneath it, they saw a girl drowning in the depth of joy,
Then a fisher boy near the bank of her river—
He sank his lonely hook for a catch,
But she swam away,
leaving a wave of disgrace for him,
This boy they said carried gloom and walked into my body,
They said there was a door he opened,
walks into a room filled with cobwebs,
And there he locks himself,
And begins to listen to silence.
Philip Chijioke Abonyi writes poetry, prose and articles. He is a Science Laboratory Technology student who hails from Enugu State, Nigeria. He was shortlisted in Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize, 2018. His works have been published in the Ace World, Eve magazine, qwenu, Allpoetry, Tushstories, spriNG, and elsewhere