Let’s bible our mouths into shape.
Damn the demons beneath the
bridge of our minds. Scalpel our throats
& whiten the silent birds therein with
psalms. Let’s prose the story of the boy
who died in the bed of the ocean. Sound—
stretch his ribs into the strings of a harp.
Sing— patch the bullet holes on his chest
with grief so tangible, so sticky, the flood
of our eyes cannot erase it. Let’s canoe
to the shoreline of the ocean. Cast mourning
into the water in search of fish. But this
ocean knows more grief than we do.
Where I’m from, every boy is a bold font
at the beginning of a story, a strikethrough
in the middle & an empty parenthesis
at the end. My fada taught me to count
my days. & count my blessings. & count
my sons. & the stars above the sky. But,
before I learned numbers, I learned the genesis
of grief. I learned that a boy should be more
bullet than bone. Only then, would the war
boomerang into glory. Look —I don’t mean
to be talkative. Because, if this poem, was the
story of me, it would still end as an
empty parenthesis —( ).
Chinedu Gospel is an emerging poet. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Nantygreens, Praxis magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review and elsewhere. He plays chess and listens to inspirational songs.