By Ewa Gerald Onyebuchi
for the long dark hair trailing down her back, housing the red sea
and mushrooms of sadness.
for the endless line of bridges forged on her skin,
scalded by the weight of holding back,
of becoming a gentle wave after a storm.
you don't have to look at a woman twice to
know she's fought many wars than Alexander the Great ever did
she's the sea that sleeps and wakes up across timelines;
her body a collection of wounds that umblica
worlds, connecting histories born and those forgotten, buried
under the silver tongue of the moon.
Once upon a time I was the wind, alone and wandering across a thousand seas,
questions pegged on my lips, searching for the meaning of a song
the body plays continuously tucked underneath sheets of silence.
a woman I had met at a pub said, leaning in to touch me.
her face was the sun in the near-darkness of the room. her long fingers were balls of cotton, warm and tender. Jass poured all around us like soft rain. like the smile of God.
I looked up from my glass of scotch, above the sharp redness of her lips,
into the river in her eyes. I saw,
beyond the smile, a tall healthy tree devoid of fruits.
Perhaps, it's not time for fruiting, I thought.
But then, after a quick deep look, I saw myself
a body fragile and small
& deviant and trying to break free from those walls, to sprout new wings
like the rest before me.
but, unlike the ones before, to dip myself in water not grease because
I know that, someday, when this clothe finally wears out, completely lose its gloss,
I'll become fire and burn with the brightest of colours.
Ewa Gerald Onyebuchi is an Igbo writer. He writes short stories and poems. His works have been published in Afritondo, Africanwriter, bengaluru review, arts lounge magazine and elsewhere.