Anatomy of Dirge

Osieka Osinimu Alao

By Osieka Osinimu Alao

A chancel of songs looped in reverse
is a pointer at damnation. Who keeps
stealing the crucifix, cremated verses
settling as ash upon a tapestry of stray tongues?
At least if we are going to die, let’s be consoled
by the possibility of a resurrection. Only that
time may be a rusty collar. Not sure three days
is sufficient for a body in which earth’s teeth
has dredged a shack of hungry worms. Time,
a kaleidoscope of the undoing, impervious
like the skeletons of dead lovers, a scavenger
documenting the gleeful drowning. Maybe, a
continuum of crushed cherries, the essence
of anomalous architectures, our bones, chalices
of redemption. But what’s a sea if it is always empty
of water, empty of will, empty of wonder? And
that’s where death slithers in, a headless bird flying
through a plantation of broken mirrors; an emptiness,
a fertile field, and a thirst that comes undone.

Osieka Osinimu Alao is a Nigerian writer, poet, editor and academic. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. He was longlisted for PIN’s PWPC 2022, shortlisted for the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize 2022, First Prize Winner BPPC Soro Soke Edition 2022, and a winner in the Creators of Justice Literary Award 2022. His works have appeared in International Human Rights Art Festival, Lumiere Review, Of Poetic Yellow Trumpets, Synchronized Chaos, Arts Lounge Magazine, Nantygreens, BPPC Anthology, and elsewhere. He is @OOAlao_ on Twitter & Instagram.