My girlfriend is collecting dust
from a field. The field is braided in purple
hibiscuses, and behind it, a monolith.
I could smell them—the swaying blades of
elephant grasses. They moved like analog
wristwatches in a whirlpool of humanoid digits.
I am carrying bugs in a matchbox, too afraid to
weave a story about the night rain and little
pellets tumbling in a river.
A bar, and a green
bottle sucks the wind from a man's throat.
The night grooming and skinning broad day
light. In those moments, I can see how lost even
a stone can be. The dew-lapped leaves morphing
into slopes for the termite to float.
I hold on to
my girlfriend like a memory: tightrope needled
through my vein and tautened to the link.
Red boys crushing paper flowers on the blue
tongue of glossic fire. Tamarind and marigold
heaped on the soft music of your garden.
The cold and
lonesomeness means the flowers are undressing
silently. Wilting under the dim eye of the kerosene
lamp, in a rather dark house with many birds—
In the field, I chose the pearls in my eyes, I chose
to redo happiness.
Prosper C. Ìféányí writes from Lagos, Nigeria. His works are featured or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Salt Hill, South Dakota Review, Magma Poetry, Obsidian Literature, Strange Horizons, South Florida Poetry Journal, The Offing, Indianapolis Review, Westchester Review, and elsewhere. He is the winner of the 2023 Flapper Press Summer Poetry Contest. Reach him on Twitter and Instagram @prosperifeanyii