An offering of lamentations to the wind

Joshua Effiong

By Joshua Effiong

I learned the best way to live is die / with your heart kicking,
like what a fetus does to its fragile home / your eyelids flickering
like lightning // I have learned to fetch the stars / have
them liquefied and offered to a Bartimaeus// Consider this poem
a pool of liquid moons / & here is where I come daily to wash
my spots // In this universe / I am a body full of mouths/ confessing the sins of the flesh/ my mind begins to regurgitate
all the things it swallowed // In another universe I hear my mother’s voice / I hear the noise in her silence / I hear her sniffling
punctuate the calm of the night / I see the storm in her eyes //
Every poem is about mother and this is another / where I wish to sponge gloom off her face / & stitch back the rainbow falling off her eyes // Tell me, what is the best method of exorcism for pain? / what is the taste of unripe joy? / Again, I shout my mother’s name into the mouth of the wind/ ask it to ingest her endless lamentations / look how a name becomes a forerunner of sourness // This is another hopeful, happy poem that should beget laughter/ but my fingers have grown too proud to be tickled by their jokes // Tomorrow we present these bones as souvenirs/ for the hope we lost in-between the teeth of dusk and dawn / & for the arrival of half-baked sweetness

Joshua Effiong, Frontier VI, is a writer and digital artist from the Örö people of Nigeria. His works has appeared/forthcoming in The Kalahari Review, Rough Cut Press, Madrigal Press, Titled House, The Indianapolis Review, Chestnut Review, etc. Author of a poetry chapbook Autopsy of Things Left Unnamed(2020). Find him on Instagram @josh.effiong and twitter @JoshEffiong