prayer 1920 1280 Ugochukwu Damian Okpara

because we were beautiful in ways that shocked;
in ways that raised dust.
ruffled water. drew rage from other boys.
and stones and sticks and fire from men
of this city.
                     -CHIBỤÌHÉ OBI


every night i prep my bed, invite prayer & make love to her.

like a wound, i let my hands trudge on the quiver of the ocean,

then ask the ocean if it relates. there’s a tumour growing in my heart,

making more rooms for self-hate. my eyes grieve every time

they behold my father, even though father wraps his pain in silence

i still see it, i know what desire looks like for i’ve stood at its door for long.

every morning i cradle in my father’s arms & i sing him an aubade

because darkness knows the art of making pain more latent than my father.

at night after watching father ask the stars to return his son in me,

still, i prep my bed, invite prayer & make love to what is already barren.

Header photograph © Skye Savage.

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