Interval

When the police took your corpse down
Mum laughed

I played the fiddle
It was easy

Fake it till it kills you
Roundabout the apricot

Where we once inscribed our forever
I said your name thrice

Eternity answered
I can’t claim this ghost as mine

Couplets Complementing Each Other

He follows me to the bedroom while the beans boil.
The dog, it follows me everywhere on a good summer’s day.

I believe the body is a dream, we don’t know everything about it, awake.
I remember every dream I had, sometimes a man is stupid twice.

He tells me he still loves me when I am naked & in the bed.
The dog, it doesn’t want me around when I am not eating.

I believe the body remembers the last time it almost drowned.
It is difficult for an ocean to not remember to drown everybody.

He touches my shoulders, licks my navel, tells me the things he misses about me.The dog, it barks at me when I am around for much & petting it.

The tongue remembers every lie as death knows the name of Everyman.
The tongue forgets a lie when time presents itself in another realm.

He draws me into the kitchen. I accept his apology. We check the beans as they boil.The dog, every other season, wants me when I am not there & the beans boiling.

Life is as uncompromising as a pot of hot beans. I let him have it.
The dog, it eats when I am there & starving.

In love the body remembers all the islands & promises & good sex.
In love the body remembers lies & mistrusts & fears & nights spent out, drinking with strangers.

He draws me into the kitchen. The beans are overcooked. I let him have it.
The dog, when the plate is full, still wants to eat from my body.

I believe the body is an illusion to which we dwell so much on.
I believe the body is an entity deserving of care, love & attention.

He tells me he still loves me when I am naked & in the bed.
The dog growls, licks its lips. I chop its ego into burnt potato chips.

1967

Many of us haven’t seen
death this close
So we model our bereavement after recreation

Just to feel happiness even for once
In this life & after
But the soldiers’ frozen breath

At the gate
Won’t let no one be dead in peace
So we gather only

Instead of recreation
In the hopes
There’d be no more day to be alive


Akpa Arinzechukwu @akpaah  is a Nigerian dealing with their numerous personalities. They are the author of City Dwellers (Splash of Red). Their work has appeared or forthcoming on Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Transition, Saraba, The Southampton Review and elsewhere.

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