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“When I’m Asked What’s Next̶...

“When I’m Asked What’s Next” & one other poem | Sokuma Theophilus

When I'm Asked What's Next | Sokuma Theophilus Mshelia Agbowo Art African Literary Art

WHEN I’M ASKED WHAT’S NEXT

Where does the body go at midnight/it runs/ it hides/it finds darkness in the bright light/this art of becoming/of peeling your skin and hoping to be clothed again/of dying before even living/this art of pretending/of hoping each day gets better/of learning to hide behind smiles and words/of learning to keep the soda at bay/of filling yourself up with water till the lungs fail/this art of becoming a flower/of becoming a boy of shadows/of strangling the darkness till it bleeds and dies/of hoping the darkness finds light again/of searching for a dead flower/of searching for a corpse in the midst of the flower/this art of dragging dead boys out of memories/and killing them again/of hurting yourself/of searching for healing while smearing balm on the open wound/of hoping the blood clots even though you keep cutting/of trying to make your body full of light/of hoping your failures don’t wear ghost clothes and haunt you/this art of learning to stand beside the closed window/of staring at the sky/of trying to reach the lonely star/of trying/and trying/and trying/hoping you don’t fail/you wait/you breathe/you smile/you hope/and you try again even though you know you would fail 

 

YOU LOVE THE MAN SO MUCH BECAUSE HE GIVES YOU DEAD CHILDREN 

I

your eyes stay on his bare chest/you try to swallow the dead children that have found home on your tongue/some men know the lyrics to their lover’s songs/he tries to mouth the song/playing in the background/he misses the lines/he tries to mouth your name/he misses the lines

 

II

your eyes remain fixed to his chest/like the sun stuck in space/you wait for him to mouth your name/you wait/you hope/that maybe your corpse might be found on the slip of his tongue/you count the beads around your waist/in lieu of your forgotten rosary beads

 

III 

your mother asks you what use is a woman/if she gets rejected by a man/so you wait/you remain/the song of your soul continues to unfurl/it falls on a dead man’s chest/and you become a music without a tune/without lyrics/the man gets up/moves to the next song/while you try to swallow the dead children his love killed.

 


Sokuma Theophilus Agbowo Art African Literary ArtSOKUMA Theophilus, is a Nigerian, currently in his finals at college. He’s a psychology major at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming on Praxis magazine, African writers, Arise Nigeria poetry anthology and brittle paper. He loves the smell of books and ink and currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria. Find him on Instagram @amante_del_dios

Social media handles

Facebook: Sokuma Theophilus Mshelia

Twitter: amante_del_dios

Instagram: amante_del_dios

 


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