Darkness wears this part of the world with shadow
& there is the patter of water on the tarred road outside.
I pick my phone & stride through the memories in photos
& then your portrait pops up at the last few slides
The one where you carved your face into an image
Of smiles like a sculptor
& it held my gaze. Like glue to paper.
It’s been a year after. The day the flower sprouting
In the soil of our hearts died. & I died with it too.
You had asked us to see. The meet morphed into the
aftermath of a knife through meat— caressing
The thread that held us with a blade.
You picked the same ground where our flower sprouted
It’s first greens to shed off the last of it’s yellowing.
After you left, your scent stuck to my palms,
Spoke to me, telling me to take in the last piece of you
—a language of end to everything beautiful.
Even the sky mourned my loss with an ear-splitting
Wailing. & flashes. & cold.
That freezing night you left my palms grasping only air.
& I watched the black sky outside holding no star in it’s wake.
How my body have become since you became
shadow in my hands.
A portrait of heart as glass falling against rock.
A fine gathering of shards & splinters
Serenading into loneliness.
Ayiyi Joel, TPC XVI is a young budding poet from Edo state in Nigeria. He was longlisted for the Akachi Chukwuemeka Poetry Prize. He has works published/forthcoming in B'K, Rough Cut Press, Rigorous, Parousia, African Writers Mag, Kalahari Review and elsewhere