Of Lasting Dreams & Memories

By Prosper C. Ìféányí

Listen. The flowers weren’t once
devastating in their beauty. No logic
came from burning rosebushes; &
somewhere, in the field, the birds are
eating a man’s shame. I am drinking
black coffee & walking barefooted in
winter; I am a pane of glass shattered
like china in the sun, & the freckled girls
still press their lips. My nailbeds glowed
in the dark, & only the taxidermy of fresh
calves & blue-eyed antelopes saw. My own
obsession creeps in like a slow-growing child.
In the daydreaming of insects, my father is
not dead, we apply the poultice on the jawbone
of death to keep Him at bay. I place my father
in my breast-pocket like a pen knife. I breathe
into his painting by the frieze & he speaks
to me through his sifted smile, loosened
like the thickness of a custard. I hold my
pee & count backwards, & he still is here.
The thirsty curtains have not claimed his
moist. In that unnaturalness—that physics
of sampled sound, my mouth still pours
out light. Everything sparkles. The rowboat
of my memory waddles clean to harbor.
& when I told you of this iridescence, you
searched the catalogue of your tongue to tell
me beauty was enough. That I had scraped
the bark of the cypress with my teeth for too
long, now, they fall like seeds into brackish
shorelines. Maybe I killed you, maybe I didn’t.

Prosper C. Ìféányí is a poet, essayist, and short story writer. An alum of Khōréō Magazine, his works are featured or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Shore, Parentheses Journal, Identity Theory, Caret: McGill University Graduate English Journal, and elsewhere. Reach him on Twitter and Instagram @prosperifeanyii

Articles: 555