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 (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.