The garden is empty, unless you consider the garden.
Lilies all around, quelling the thick bushes. The leaves,
a choir of soft spades. The beauty of moths. The beauty
of magnolias; dull pink washing the wind. I came here
to look for you, Lord, in the wild of your creation. God
of green, colourless God. I, Adam. Naked in thirst, ribless
with disbelief. They say faith begins with sight. I say
touch reveals the presence of truth. Yet I squeeze the vines
& you are not there. As if God could pour out of something
that wreathes. Maybe He is in the water pot, I say. I bend,
hand-on-rim, over the vessel of clay. At least, the water is
beautiful, & when it wrinkles, it heals again, like a miracle.
God must be here, I swear. I mean, give me a language
where water isn’t the prettiest word. Mmiri. Ts’q’ali.
God is inside the water. So I look for His face in the clay’s
mouth. God of water, of the terracotta holding the water.
But He is not there. The potter, erased from his creation.
My reflection ripples over. The crows are cawing at my
faith. The worms, under my feet, mock me. I understand
none of it. Is this disillusionment or revelation?
The branches begin to shake—leafs circling before
my face. Perhaps there, amidst the green, is God.
Not in the trees, but all of them?
Samuel A. Adeyemi is a writer and editor from Nigeria. A Best of the Net Nominee and Pushcart Nominee, he is the winner of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize 2021. His manuscript was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set, 2022. His works have appeared in Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, 580 Split, Strange Horizons, Agbowo, Isele Magazine, Brittle Paper, Jalada, and elsewhere.