Deep into the night,
my father and I creep into the field
as he breaks me into what lives after a prayer,
how do I say what holds no language,
what lives in your clattering teeth
like songs begging to be free;
this isthe night a son knows what it means
to look like a mother,
what it means to be a son of lingeries,
what it means to be a river
receiving tributaries of a man’s anger.
I wish I could go back in time,
be wet as desire,
nothing lose as a tooth waiting to broken
by a fist filled with blood, filled with tears,
filled with whatever it is that turn a man into pain
and into what gives pain.
I want to be soft as blue skies
filled with roses and the taste of Merlot,
but it is a fact that before the night dies,
my father, a man or whoever will raise his hands
into the air, coarse what little memory of peace
he knows into his palm, seeing it’s not enough
to bring back psalms of seeds,
he will begin his life’s job of carving his name
into what drives a son into storms,
into the language of rivers and tides,
into the afternoon when his father rode into his heart
and began his faithful duty
or breaking a woman into a river of burning oil.
Romeo Oriogun‘s poems have appeared on Brittle Paper, Afridiaspora, African Writer, Kalahari Review, amongst others. He’s the author of ” burnt men,” an E-Chapbook published by Praxis. He lives and writes in Ikare-Akoko, a sleepy town in Western Nigeria.