Numerics ~ Mesioye Johnson

I try counting the dirges that have passed through me

The way water passes the borders of rocks

And I lost my fingers to a certain tremor.


This is not me telling you what I have passed through,

But that I am what you pass through when you remember

That there is a space you left for your lost loved ones in your body.


My mother said we carry the weight of the sun.

Maybe that’s why a boy will separate his lips with depression

Looking for pills to heal what eats the body whole and remain fully empty.


Silence is a drunk man filled with what brews a body

Into a night he forgot in his mouth.

1, 2, 3, 4….1967, this city wore the future we are in now.


In cities where there are no kings,

A god is chairing, and god is all-seeping.

A body carrying a throne of epitaphs. A flower wilting like your silence.


Wounds are generously opened to the sky

And my body is a fraction of what I lost count of

To a silent street mourning something still living.


Mesioye Johnson writes from the rusty roofs of Ibadan where he heals his darkness around his waist and the world with his poetry. His works have been featured or forthcoming in African Writer, Eunoia Review and so on. He is mesioyejohnson on Twitter.

Photo credit: Photo by Dazzle Jam from Pexels

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