The Blessing of Air

Inimfon Inyang-Kpanantia

By Inimfon Inyang-Kpanantia

the truest poems start with forgiveness
for the things I could have become — more when I needed
to be vulnerable so I wouldn’t grow into stone. so you see
there is no more flexibility in here, no brassbound band
of muscle open to giving in. bye, body. my last batch
of feelings ferried away without notice. & I stood ashore
unburdened. innumerably, i’ve sought a panacea for my
gift of self-taxidermy & realized nothing can save myself
save my self. these days I fantasize a harvest of joy
from places I did not sow; hungry for the slightest semblance
of light & content with its absence. you can say I am mostly
a formula testing the gravity of every variable
named x before it has a chance to manifest. have I not
heard more times than necessary how it’s best to let life
unfold? how to journey through its corridors like a wave,
untethered? how to ease myself unto the treadmill of fate,
& have faith it would leave me guzzling, full & satisfied?
for too long, I’ve been suffocated, fitting my robust
circumference into a solid square. tonight, i am shedding
the enamel. anything, everything for the blessing of air.

Inimfon Inyang-Kpanantia is a medical student and writer of Ibibio origin. Finalist for the K and L African Literature Prize and the Albert Jungers poetry prize. His works have been published on the Kalahari Review, Mausoleum Press, Eboquills and elsewhere. Contact him @ inyang_ik on twitter and inyangik on Instagram.