Credo to Leave by JK Anowe

Do not believe what you see on TV

 

I’m so afraid of being happy it is the closest thing to shame

 

……………The world would still have itself

 

All noise & no sound/all rush & no reaching

 

If I wasn’t here

 

……………A breakfast club between its teeth

 

I’m reconsidering dying old

 

Who the fuck wants to stay that long

 

……………& bored

 

Under the cold desert sun

 

Not these oases tapped like fresh wine from humanpores & tearducts

 

……………Not this sand thicker than blood & water gushing from Jesus’ side

 

Pushing a bouquet of leftover bones towards god’s nose

 

I will lie & I will disguise

 

……………Turn off the lights & fall abysmal

 

I feel nothing but beautiful

 

Leave my breath to you

 

……………This tickling like a rush of spiderlimbs over skin

 

Gorgeous god

 

I want to love without changing myself

 

……………Spare my demons in place of martyrdom

 

Want to fall & fall on rock

 

Till it learns the language of soft

 

……………Till my body is what you see when a country ungags itself

 

& swallows a hand grenade

 

Life is a promise broken before the words form

 

……………So I cut myself sometimes to see how much remains

 

Of me

 

If I exist in small doses or a rush of adrenaline

 

……………Believing if I called each tooth a tooth

 

It’d stop them from biting down

 

But an embrace seen from too much distance are arms

 

……………Spread out in crucifixion

 

I knew I’d broken my halo the moment I ran my tongue

 

Over my lips one morning & couldn’t taste the previous night’s girl

 

……………Heard my heart falter – each beat wearing thin

 

Don’t judge me (or do if you mustn’t help it)

 

Masturbation is the body saying it can handle itself

 

……………& I’m a rookie in love with girls

 

Whose skin & lipstick covers/mascara & fingernails

 

Are drawn in the language of night

 

……………Whose mothers do not smile the proud/knowing smile of mothers with daughters

 

Who seek lonely men as a junkie does his poison

 

Teach their idle tongues to walk the path of cleavage

 

……………Lips to adore each nipple with nibbles

 

Down to french the desert between the embrace of warm thighs

 

Until I saw the streets you were walking down

 

……………I didn’t know I was the one in your shadow & soles

 

Rotting/screaming all alone/trapped in the echo

 

Maybe we should give heed to the preacher’s homily

 

……………He’s not the devil asking to interpret stone into loaf

 

But still…

 

My body is its own city & life is short in this city

 

……………You a northern star hanging over it like a mistletoe

 

Or to put mildly

 

An outlaw swinging under the gallows

 

……………So when all is almost said & undone

 

You’d not empty dust unto dust

 

No

 

……………You’d burn it & to a fierce eastern wind cast it

 

That a prisoner to freedom it may be

 

Wandering back & forth into your closing arms

 

……………For people like us do not know life unless it is spelt backwards

 

We die by own hands before god’s noose reaches our throats

 

I’m the prodigal & you the favorite

 

……………Leading me far from this crimson spar

 

Beyond the mountain called Christ

 

I’m no longer the bones in your closet

 

……………Come on now

 

Come hang your cloths

 

 

 

 

Jk Anowe holds a BA in French from the University of Benin, Nigeria, and is a 2015 recipient of the Festus Iyayi Award for Excellence in Poetry from the same university. Poems have been nominated for the Best On The Net Nomination and appears in Brittle Paper, Elsewhere Lit, Praxis Magazine Online, Gnarled Oak, Poetry Life & Times, Expound Magazine and elsewhere. He lives, teaches and writes (when he’s not consumed by wanderlust) from somewhere in Nigeria.