Fresh Air Poetry is A Weekly Online Poetry Journal - it aims to publish new exciting poetry From around the world.

A poem by JK Anowe

A poem by JK Anowe

Gathering the Windfall

 

it matters how this ends          a black umbrella over a sad devotion
in my head                  grant me lord my excuse
a fortitude flimsy enough                    to love my body…

maybe we're in the present because the past & future cannot decide
who keeps custody     i miss the days of ghostwritten love letters
days when we were so young it was easier to say never        dream forever

feel more at home       pose—unopposed—for photographs      fear the day our parents
their talkative neighbours       & spiteful wives would grow old & die...
because laughter is a thing for the dark          a thing muffled shoving nipples

against a birthcry        because darkness is only that surface of light
easier to reach & squeeze—               it matters how the end begins—
with you & without you being here                the speedometer

gunning one-forty on the freeway                  is me trying to get closer to god
since i do not go to church      nothing more holy than tripping into
the inferno       falling steady towards the devil’s mouth till  i am suddenly skin

& soul no longer         this is to say my heart pounds because being with you
had always felt like running    which is to say we’d always remember love
when it felt the emptiest         but i’d like to forget—to feel like you've let me go

maybe one day fly next to you           once i called my body a fireplace
because it was a house you could safely set afire       now i fear the tastes
your absence allows    & no one weeps beside my urn           instead we’re just wrung

to love the way we do             how water holds a body in its belly    until it is life
no more           but deadmen too float & sometimes it's the only way to stay
alive blame god for those bodyparts the mouth's too heavy to talk about

JK Anowe, Igbo-born poet and essayist, is author of the chapbooks The Ikemefuna Tributaries: a parable for paranoia (Praxis Magazine Online, 2016) and SKY RAINING FISTS (Madhouse Press, 2019). He’s a recipient of the inaugural Brittle Paper Award for Poetry in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2019 Gerard Kraak Award. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Palette Poetry, 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Brittle Paper, Elsewhere Lit, Expound, Enkare Review, Gnarled Oak, Poetry Life & Times, Praxis, and elsewhere. He’s Editor: Poetry Chapbooks, at Praxis Magazine Online. He lives, teaches, and writes from somewhere in Nigeria.

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