You Are Undead to MeDimelu, Casely-Harvey
The breaths leave your lungs, and I want to stretch my hand to feel them as if they are a gust of sea wind. Your body swaddled in our fleecy duvet is an evidence that you are here, with me. My hand running through your hair is extra evidence. You move. I return to myself.
If only I knew sleep so intimately.
I believe it is okay to want someone even when they want to go. I think it is alright to see things in a different way. I am very certain you have a verdict good for us.
The sound of the ash tree crashing against the windowpane is bothersome. I close my eyes and begin to say the names of all my KD pupils in my mind. Outside, the wind is busy and I can hear the rain drop so furiously on the aluminium zinc like pellets. I drown in the storm, in the dark, in the stillness of the room, in your breaths.
It is still dark, but I try to get to the bathroom to begin a ritual in front of the mirror. I find a candle in the cabinet and light it. The face I see belongs to a carnivorous human; eyes swollen with open questions, thick triangular lips, cheeks overripe with nothing. The face is an empty jar. Something to wear when colours become expensive. A face with which I can say to myself, tomorrow, I’ll decide how far we’ll go.
When I return, you begin to hum the song about burning skies as you prepare to leave.
You used to be light, life and laughter. Yes, an undiluted magic. Your eyes, grey-coloured missiles. Your hair, a cascading masterpiece. Your mouth, an oasis of desires, sinking me again and again.
You were love personified. Water. Home. Nectar. Flames. Breaths. Raw sweetness.
You were sunshine, blinding yet wholesome.
I am asleep and the world is asleep too.
I learn of your passing while ogling the photos of an irresistible poet on Twitter. One minute I am seeing the images of a wrecked Boeing 737 Max 8 bound for Nairobi and the next minute, I am feeling an upsurge of perplexity and fear that you are buried deep in the debris. The panic I feel afterwards is overwhelming, a panic I am too afraid to sense, so it sits solidly in one side of my heart as I try to figure what living without you would entail. I am reminded you are impossible to forget, like an unsettling storm slipping through my fingers, or a country in ruins, and I have been the one running from every hurt.
Ohia, Ernest Chigaemezu is a 21-year old Nigerian writer. He graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a B.A. in English and a minor in History and International Studies. He has works in Eunoia Review, Nantygreens, The Muse, Rigorous, Enter Naija: The Book of Places, The Vanguard Book of HIV/AIDS and Sexual Awareness, Dwartsonline and elsewhere. Studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was an Assistant editor for The Muse, a journal of creative and critical writing of the Department of English and Literary Studies, UNN. He was also an editorial intern at Nantygreens
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