BOY, LIFE WILL BREAK YOU | NOME EMEKA PATRICK

 

i. 

Boy strolling at the edge of the world. Boy whistling a panegyric for vagrants. Boy walking with legs the stretch of a sigh. Boy holding grief on his tongue, a mud of hurricane. Boy at the corner giving his heart wings. He says it comes back with the wind, a chandelier of smithereens. Boy in the bar, boy in the liquor, the liquor in his voice, belching a sand full of tears. Boy. Boy. Boy. Boy cupping his hands to home his face as if waiting for the first sign of darkness. Boy walks into his father again, he is an old bat now. Man hair has all the dreams Boy once thought of. Father asks, lifting boy’s face like a hurricane lamp, How did you fall? Boy, how did you fall? Boy opens his scar. Like a god at the feet of a river? Boy how did you fall?  The moon drops into his face. Through the silence your mother molds you from? Boy is soft with the texture of silence. How did you fall?  Boy’s father looks at the window matching light into his bones. Like the retired vision of a shot bullet?

 

Boy Storm. Boy Hurricane. Boy Hurry Cain.

 

Boy Wave. Boy Sand City. Boy Sun City.

 

Boy, falling through the last roar of a storm. Boy, yelling in the dance of a hurricane. Boy, hurry Cain. Boy, hurry Cain. Boy pulling the last bits of his name from crumbled stairs and throwing them into his body. 

 

ii.

There are no dreams here, only bullets plucking the shafts from doors. Dogs. Men. Windows.  Boy folding his mouth into the shape of an axe. Boy walking head bent away from his mother’s grave. Boy at the corner of a room listening to the rants of his drunk father. Old soldier. Old son of hallucination. Boy in his bed his arms thrown into a dream. Boy opening his mouth in a dream full of wind. Boy. Boy. Boy. Boy with a body filled with a sermon of loss.

 

Boy, Carry your throne. Boy, your shoulder is a palace. 

 

Boy, To say you're falling is to say you’re rain.

 

Boy, you're a deity. Boy, your body is a shrine.

 

Boy sitting with his hair holding the moon.  Boy watching his sister cry through the keyholes of triggers. Boy falling and rising. Boy falling and rising. Boy's body          not an ancient city. The last psalm        boy's body. Boy, you're no god. Boy, you're a firefly and we know nothing more.

 

iii.

Boy of Dreams. Boy of Deaths. Boy of Dirges.

 

Boy, how many times did a bullet remind you of your last name?

 

Boy, the first city is your body. The first war started in your bones.

 

iv.

Boy at the staircase rocking a dog into another world.

 

You walk through your father. Dead. Dead as the last brick of Jericho. Boy, reverse back to your sleep, that's the only place fireflies don't get swallowed by the night. Or write your father's names on the walls. Build a memory there. You may not survive till morning. Your mother is combing your soul into a mantra. Your sister is 100 miles away from peace.

 

Boy, somewhere a beat drops into your body – you're a gold made of fear:

 

Of breathing

Breaths are lost things. Songs left when we no longer have wings.

 

Of eating

Here's a supper of shadows. Eat it. That's the only way a night survives.

 

Of drinking

You once held a girl in your mouth. Liquor is the only goddess you know now.

 

Of living

To survive, angels break them wings and cry behind dark trees.

 

 

 
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Nome Emeka Patrick is a Nigerian artist who writes from a small room close to banana trees and bird songs. He is fascinated by stars(light) and bodies(people). He is currently reading Ali Ahmad Said Esber's selected poems.

Darla Mottram