Poem by Eliongema Udofia

Published by ArtingArena on

I AM HALF THE ANSWER OF A PRAYER MADE ON THE ALTAR OF A BED

For Udugime Udofia.


When I was born, they say I was born again
You don’t understand.
I mean
I sprang forth and sprang forth again
What I mean is that two seeds fell from the pod of the same zygote
But one did not sprout, because although the earth was fertile there was no use wasting it on another insignificant seed
I mean to say that my twin died because the doctor could but refused to touch him, the same way my
father longed but couldn’t touch money
Mother sang this dirge and her body became a trembling rock; her eyes, a waterfall


Some nights, I am a god
My eyes a pencil and my eyelids a sketchbook; somehow, I bring a boy, a mirror of me, to life
But it all dwells in a world behind closed lids
Other nights, I have a dream where I am digging under the orange tree in our backyard and my spade fetches the skull of a baby from the earth; yet in my hand, it becomes a ball of cotton
What I mean is that
Mother never speaks about where he was buried, as if knowing it will renew her pain
And that I have a phobia of digging, especially around the house
And that I envy everything that comes in pairs – socks, tongs
And the colorful birds on our fence that Twitter and show off, from bough to bough


About the Poet

Eliongema Udofia comes from Ika in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in Brittle Paper, Eboquills, Blue marble review, Afritondo, and elsewhere. When he’s not writing, he draws and listens to music, or solves Mathematics.


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