BRITTLE

By Ehi Ogwiji

my father’s voice is a dark hole;
when i was six, I fell into it,
tasted his liquid darkness
and i became a light-
too bright for the prying
eyes of dawn.
in my sojourn, i have climbed
seven mountains of tears
and crossed ten rivers of pain;
but for the map on mama’s palm
i would have been long lost
in this forest of uncertainties.
So each night when my mother clasps
her palms to allow the meandering paths
rub against one another,
she is telling an angel
to carve out another conduit for me,
one that leads to many places.
mine is a brittle story,
and on days like this,
it breaks into pieces
and scatters around
like the lines in this poem-
some white, some black
but all coated with molten gratitude.

Long Desire

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