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burn | Praise Osawaru

burn | Praise Osawaru

the sun is a matchstick burning out this [ ] evening.

a murder of crows wing the sky & chorus a piercing tone

in repeat. in the backyard, I sit on the remnant of a 

felled tree, a flat top poking out of the earth. 

the once greenly umbrella exists only in my memory.

the grass around is slowly becoming a field

of clouded yellows. I extend my right hand & birth 

a fire from a palmed lighter. perhaps we’re all

creators of our chaos. & home is now a furnace. flame balls

shoot out of mouths that once housed songbirds & it burns 

my skin & soul. my brother & I would cast our voices

as the night sinks & sometimes it screamed back in

a downpour. but rain has deserted me since he went under.

& my faith, a wilted flower. all I know is the burn.

dusk gradually unfolds, the crows performance persist.

I roll out my other hand & make a roof of it over the

fire. my eyes succumb to a closure & I time travel to

the past. the world around becomes a whisper.

Praise Osawaru

Praise Osawaru (he/him) is a writer of Bini descent. A Best of the Net nominee, his work appears or is forthcoming in FIYAH, Frontier Poetry, Down River Road, The Maine Review, The Lit Quarterly, and Roadrunner Review, among others. An NF2W Poetry scholar, he’s the second-place winner of the Nigerian NewsDirect Poetry Prize 2020 and a finalist for the 2021 Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize & the 2020 Awele Creative Trust Award. He’s a reader for Barren Magazine and Chestnut Review. Find him on Instagram & Twitter: @wordsmithpraise.

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

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