Omodero David Oghenekaro

By Omodero David Oghenekaro

By the green River, I watched the Orange-breasted kingfisher plunge,
beak-first for water, to perform the acrobatics of hunger.
Show me a hunger that is not dangerous; show me a desire not taking
The frame of a kingfisher spreading its wings at full-length—heavy with colors— to beak up the
Little-bodied sound beckoning it to the chokehold of surrender.
I want to arrow head-first, no glancing back at the past, into tomorrow
And find a Penelope I’ve never known, waiting by the river; twice as thirsty as I am.
But even then, I am rebuked to never go in with my head but my heart.
& I ask you, is it this heart shedding itself as a snake wrapped in its past, at the
Touch of both light & darkness?
Is it this coward child dry-humping on a couch his mom marked for sale,
moaning marriage vows to the numb pleasure beckoning him closer to the threshold
Of a climax?
Is it this heart perforated by the finger-pokes of schoolgirls, making mockery of my name?
The road to love crosses that of death, & even now, there are
Footprints trapped in the silt of history. The archeologists who exhumed the earth
Found sediments of heartbreak still wriggling in their abandonment,
As if to say, “we’re not done with that fool yet. His lineage, too, must follow.”
How do I prove to the world that my spirit is weak as well as my flesh,
& that this scripture carved out of the emptiness of my body has not been broken?
I never hooked myself to the string of the bow in preparation for flight,
I never even attempted to draw myself on the elasticity of my Grief?
All I did was glance back at the wreckage of the past:
Where, in the haste to love, the head of a shot arrow disconnected from its body:
The bungee-jumper realizing too late, that no elastic cord was tied to his legs as he plunged
head-first, in excitement, into the abyss that welcomes all ruins…

Omodero David Oghenekaro is a Seventeen-year-old Nigerian writer and poet who hails from Delta State. He’s currently an undergraduate student of Biomedical Technology at the University of Port Harcourt. Works have appeared in African writer magazine, Arts Lounge, Ngiga review and elsewhere. He tweets @OmoderoDavidOghenekaro.


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