By Hassan A. Usman
There’s no figurative way to say this: I’m heartbroken.
It’s sunset again— I arrange my body where there’s a flicker,
learning new ways to excite my grief. Light, even light,
is damned to darkness. A bird flutters in the sky, asks
why my kind of ruin is so exceptional. Say, the night
after my father envisioned our home breaking into
the echoes of a birdsong, he threw his breaths
into the mouth of a whirlwind & drowned his name
in sea water which was too unkind to return what isn’t
its own. In this poem, I do not want to reverberate the
eulogies of my father, but how do I deliver this loneliness
in pertinence? Death is surely the son of a bitch,
who draws a graph & frames your companion on a scale
of nothingness? I have, forever, been unbelieving to miracles.
In my dreams, I discover a fortune, and quickly, the nights perish.
What if tomorrow instead of dead leaves I’m garbed
with daffodils? My eyes sift sunrise, and stutter,
what ritual contributes to new beginnings?
Daily, I hold fast to faith, paint the portrait of desert
with rainfall. But whatever I hold, do not hold me back.
Joy, when it comes in the morning, is fashioned
in a place our loss can not reach.
My brother has been wishing, and this is an example:
Lord, I want to be sculpted into a chrysanthemum,
fit me into the space between a star and the moon.
At home, my mother offers a hymn to the finality of
our misery, says though we’re unfortunate,
though we’re unfortunate, we’re alive and
My mother so naive, I wonder if God remembers her
in His own prayers.
Hassan A. Usman, NGP 2, is an emerging poet from Lagos, Nigeria. He studies Counselor Education at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. His works are/forthcoming in Paper Lanterns, Icefloe Press, Trampset, Olumo Review, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Lunaris Review, The Shallow Tales Review, and elsewhere. He’s on Twitter and Instagram @Billio_Speaks.