Three Poems

by JK Anowe
Stranger

And after you’ve made me feel grown up
In the backseat of your car
We’d sit in the crevice of a silence so mild
To share a cigar
Unlit by the same firefly that enkindled a feast
Of bonfires in our desert hearts
There’s no method to the madness of a directionless road

That stumbles into another lonely dirt road
For we
We’re stalemate
Water in our kiss
Fire beneath our feet
A sarcasm that goes almost unnoticed
There’s this little trick you do
You move your lips
Those boyish Siamese twins that nibbles all of me
& a stranger leaps out
Like a hand grenade suddenly going poof
Then I stand before you
Just as naked
Just as ominous
Just as fleeting as the day God was born
To contemplate what we’ve become
Bread broken over dialects of war
To hold the fealty of water-turned-wine in the secret of my lips
When your kiss is but a bullet that grazes against my tongue

 

black flower

if
i
told
you
i
was
a flower
blooming in
a dark
room
would
you
still
wet your
lower
lip
lick
the tip
of your
middle
finger
&
eat
of my
nectar

would
this
poem
still
read
like
a teardrop
c l i n g i n g
to an eye
lid
of
God
when
He
looks
d
o
w
n
on
us
a confluence
of carnage
oozing
from
His
loins

 

a pearl…

                   from Letters to Lucille

woman with a husband
we’ve gotten to this bridge
burning as it is
& i dunno if i want us to cross
burn all our nighttime conversations – stray
as they are – on these ripped canvasses we mistake for skins
or just jump in the river
& drown…
you won’t leave him for me – i know this
you won’t
not even if i took you stargazing
& left a kiss stranded on those ruby lips
no
even i know that that is too poetic – the way
you almost do not give a fuck about these
things – this unruly mess you’ve made…
you said this place you’ve found feels like home
you’re no longer a butterfly
& neglect would not its pride & poetry hold…
because i miss you in ways lies can never go untold
i miss you even before you go
even though my mother says it is the most tragic way
to love a part of your own body that is unwhole
but i’m guessing you already know this amongst
many other unsaid things – this ignorance that
often begets bravery than does knowledge for us…
we’ll hold each other afloat
we’ll become water
because water does not drown
so i may be for you
& you for me
the only thing that may never be truly ours…

 

About the Author:

JK Anowe is human, a 2015 recipient of the Festus Iyayi Award for Excellence in poetry, University of Benin. Poems have appeared in Brittle Paper, Gnarled Oak, Expound Magazine, Poetry Life & Times, African Writer, and elsewhere. His chapbook, a parable for paranoia, is available for download at Praxis Magazine Online. He lives, teaches and writes from somewhere in Nigeria.

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1 Comment

  1. I just bumped into “Enkare Review” and Iam head over heels in love with it. Enkare is my vernacular word for water so I am quenching my literary thirst here.. It is truly home.