Ernest Ògúnyẹmí


in the beginning there was a wound,
a fat bleeding thing in the corridor of God’s head.

forgive me, I am used to disaster: fear rattles
my bones like a child rattling its father’s keys.

I spend my mornings negotiating with dread,
my noons are wasted eggs in worry’s basket.

when the sun sinks for night to spread her jeweled
curtain, I wander in the maze of possible ruins.

day by burning day, I pour libations to the ghosts
that have, loss by brutal loss, carved a home in the tree

of my body. restless as time, I ask, What comes after
this life? What waits for us on the flip side of this

dream? question by question, I build a house from
my restlessness, & my heart becomes a crazy machine,

my bones clink inside me like fallen coins. maybe
I should sit by the window & watch clouds drift

like migrants. maybe I should spend my empty hours
learning the sweet language of birds, or the curiosity

of rats rummaging through dirt. maybe beauty,
or something that kins beauty, will heal me.