Beneath a Withering Green
i have seen death more times
than i have experienced life.
beneath a withering green
the world plays out in front
of me. yesterday, it was an infant. today: a young
man in his mid-thirties—a truck had collided
with his motorcycle. blood;
like red roses bloomed out of the man’s
scalp & fell at his feet. his body
parts: splayed for all to see.
this road must be human. this road must
have a belly for when it opens its
jaws a body gets served on the coal tar.
i have a pact with amnesia
but i know the taste of loss.
during the day: i am an old man
with a bowl & at night—a fossor. i build
comfortable homes for the dead
somber sounds rouses the air//
growing up never mattered
until this point where i sit
on shards of a broken
past & the only thing alive
inside of me is a ticking bomb.
I wish I/ if only I/ had I/ are nothing
but sad poems I read to myself when
the sky in my heart
breaks open. i would
ask mother if I could go out
to play & she would remind me
of how much grief I’m yet to peel
from my body; how my tongue has the
smile of a thorn. & so I don’t go out to play.
but I found a way to make friends who
won’t: judge me for what mother
says I am. friends who would: melt under my tears.
& yes I made such friends—for I drew them on
paper. my blood gave life to them.
I wish they stayed long though. I wish the
papers didn’t soak up as much
tears each time I bled in
my eyes. but I remind myself that everything
withers at the end—
that even this day would become grey-haired
& be as frail as night.
What flowers are truly used for
oftentimes we walk into the night
& wish it returns us unscathed at the first glimpse
of light. but others go into the night &
make peace with it;
they hug tightly the echoes shimmering
from the dark & kneel to the grief pulsing
beneath their skin. & I ask: is there a metaphor
for peace? & was shown: black earth, an epitaph
& gravestones. somewhere on the surface a bee
pollinates a flower—rose/lavender
but deep down
the root wars it out against loss: in form
of worms/drought/& disease. to experience the quiet
one must unearth flowers—hold them & lay still with
eyes shut forever.
About the author
Bobbybryan Uzoma is a Nigerian writer and he is the author of a poetry book titled: The Artist. His works have been featured or are forthcoming in Eboquills, African writers review, Afreecanread, Nantygreens, Avalanche initiatives and elsewhere. when he is not writing, he plays Scrabble and Chess. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria.