“a prayer for the damned” + “song of loss” + “song of memory” by Ajise Vincent
a prayer for the damned
my mother always told me to speak out while praying,
that underneath the veil of my hush tunes are spiritualties
swirling amiss, that may never get to God’s ear.
during her burial
while the vicar prayed
i saw her ghost rise
& metamorphosed into photons of light
like lazarus succumbing to Christ’s midas touch.
It is a decade now.
& i just discovered an inheritance – a boy that smells of sins
and the devil’s breath.
i take his hands
& say the Lord’s Prayer aloud.
i look at the direction i saw my mum’s ghost rise towards.
i see his sins evaporating like vapor,
tussling with gravity’s unseen arm.
a song of loss
during the clime when the world was plagued by an anonymous disease,
my dad who was a vicar by day
& a counselor by night suddenly saw essence in being a dictator.
nobody must leave this house he would say.
in the erraticism of decrees and idleness.
hours ate up days and became fats of weeks.
food bided goodbye to our home.
our stomachs were eulogized by
discordant beats of hunger.
every-night we gathered round the radio
we heard of beings severing into atoms of dust.
we heard of men wearing masks like ninjas,
contending with death’s call to glory.
today, we tell this gory ordeal to our uncle
who had been on asylum in ambazonia.
his face is adorned with fright.
he remembers the video he saw a fortnight ago:
mother committing her only daughter to the earth
who died of gastric ulcer.
songs of memory
if i should collect those impeccable memories
of our love & place them in jar of words & sweet songs,
they would echo like bits of whispers drowning
in the gutturals of their own inaudibility, talia.
talia, i miss you. i miss the precocity of our love.
oh! its jazziness — my hands reweaving the sinews
of your geometries, slowly, like a seamster,
into a nest of ecstasy, into a fortress of orgasm.
talia, sudanese dame of jocular demeanor.
come listen to my heartbeat. come listen to its songs.
come hear it say talia— i, vin, still loves you, talia.
Ajise Vincent is an Economist based in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared in Jalada, Chiron Review, Asian Signature, Ann Arbor Review, Yellow Chair Review, Bombay Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, The Cadaverine, Saraba, Brittle Paper, Sentinel Quarterly, and Elsewhere. He is a recipient of the Eriata Oribhabor poetry prize 2015. He loves coffee, blondes and turtles.
What's Your Reaction?
A pan-African writers' collective and publisher