a failed attempt at undoing memories – A Poem by Dare Tunmise

a failed attempt at undoing memories

eyes closed
                 but you’re not sleeping
                             it is your shadow screaming to the walls
as the candle burns into a slow fade,
                                             said something is dead inside you
but you would not touch a wound,
                wash a ghost clean till it’s all paradise
in a room made unholy with sex & wine

                     the stained white tissue on the bed that
mocks holiness
                               calls the voyage of a night narrating sky without
a moon
& a half sea swallowed in your bones that wash in
                      memories like the brevity of thunder caught on
a baby’s tongue   as he coughs out blood on his
mother’s laps

it says there is enough music in this silence
                   if you would listen to the walls as a ghost skip
a room
         if you would observe the wall gecko driving time
back as the woman with wound scream in
                       labor in an empty kitchen

eyes closed
                             but you listened as a boy swallowed wine and eat
history like burnt cars on his father’s lips         and because nothing would
                                   bring water to the wreckage of
the toy he burnt on a candle as the wax bleed like snow into an empty tin
                          except that the remains of those nights sat in his books as stories
bruised at the edges               because no one could
bring back the child he found dead
                                                asleep in a neighbor’s house
                   because no one could tend the dog’s wound till the sore became the
symphony the rots sang to sleep on its hind legs

eyes closed but he would maintain an autonomy of these griefs
                       and paint them as lost words looking for rooms on random pages
        because he would not pretend that
                        the world is a slow herb that requires less burning
that he would one day sleep in an empty room &
                                           scream out of sleep as he remembered the image
of the boy he played with burning in a room as his father’s
             fist ram into the woods for open door

eyes closed but the morning would not begin with a
new song,
                because he would not know that to erase memories
you must kill a name.

Dare Tunmise is a Poet and Essayist. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in the Voice Lux Journal, the Sublunary Review, Madness Muse Press, the Kalahari Review, African Writer Magazine, the Nigerian Tribune, Akewi Arts House and elsewhere. He can be found on twitter: @Dare_Tunmise

Banner: Symphonic Fever, digital art (c) Robert Frede Kenter. Twitter: @frede_kenter)

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