By Njikonye Charles
before I pared my skin into the verses of the Psalms, before I learned the liturgy of how a
tongue can spit its bearer out / a pit of tightly meshed melancholy & trespasses by
confessing a plain-hearted prayer to God, before I unlocked the gate of my soul to God's sparkle,
before all, before equanimity—I lived a life enshrouded by agony, the darkness of the night,
tumbling into my mouth. my existence wilted onto evil, catastrophe boating me from the
softness of peace. sin was a cloak I wore, tethering me to the belly of oblivion. tell me,
how do you relish joy when your conscience is a ship sinking into an ocean of rigid commotion?
when your tongue is a city void of the covenants of Jehovah? O, how graceless & morbid were
my days without the epistles of the Lord brimming my skin pores. but now, my weight
engulfed in God's immaculate light, my future is tailored to an orbit of grief-proof miracles,
& they preside // look, my days now as silky as lambskin, all my pains becoming bone-dry.
for God promises, & it comes into validity—I soar on wings like an eagle, I stride & won't
crumble like the walls of Jericho, my vessel, a chapel of plethoric grace. Elohim reigns
through me, & I'm divine & joy-struck, my paths lined with uncomeatable boons. see,
I bathe in the serenity that transcends all understanding / liberty from weariness is a
wind sailing through my ribcage / I sing the hymns of Hosanna, & they pluck me out of
doom. God's promises unknot me from despair, unfold me into sweet salvation—in my mouth,
a whole church, singing.