Pantoum For Love and Fire & Other Poems

Anointing Obuh

Pantoum For Love and Fire

Anyway, you love me but I do weird things:
Fireworks toasting on the stove, shoes left haphazard by the door
Sleeping on my back, drinking honey from an Earthen jug
Snoring like a giant oak tree.

Fireworks toasting on the stove, shoes left haphazard by the door
All the messy feelings left to roost, defeathered
Snoring like a giant oak tree
A letter’s unread opening line:

All the messy feelings left to roost, defeathered.
I find myself leaning on the countertops
A letter’s unread opening line,
burning into the suspended agony of smoke.

I find myself, leaning on the countertops
& who is to blame for the dirty
                                           dishes
                                               racked
burning into the suspended agony of smoke—
Folding gently and soft.

& who is to blame? For all the dirty
                                                   dishes
                                                       racked
There is a towel stained with blood,
folding gently and soft
& the silence goes on like nothing.

There is a towel stained [with blood],
Mine or yours? We wouldn’t know
& the silence goes on like nothing
as the tears try to wet the fire that is—

mine or yours. We wouldn’t know?
As the house burns for dirty dishes racked up
against the wall
& no one left to clean the ashes. I ask:
I do weird things but you love me? Anyway…

Joy Baby (I)

Is it Christmas in heaven, child?
The harmattan wind hugs like
a glacier fat around my chest.
I hear tinkling bells and dream
of you walking through the front door.

Are you wearing your favourite pink jacket,
the one that says Mommy Loves Me?
Words that couldn’t stop God from plucking you
away. He did command the fig tree to die,
after all,  so I wait for an invitation to join you
in paradise.

They said God made a tunnel through your throat
and you followed. You landmark, you pink miracle.
The wind gapes without your presence,
Name me nomad, christen me travelling speck of dust.

I suffer through a lone Christmas
without the Holly to my halls.
I am snowing in the tropics,
Living for you spirit/child,
Waiting at the door of your return.

Joy Baby (II)

                   in heaven
The             wind hugs
                              my chest.
I                               dream
of you

Are you
the one                                    ?
                              God
               did command

                          a tunnel through your throat
                        You landmark, you pink miracle.

                          travelling speck of dust.

I suffer

I am
Living for you
Waiting at the door of your return.

Anointing Obuh is a writer, singer, and photographer. She is 20.35 Africa‘s New Poet for January 2021. A Best of the Net nominee, her works are forthcoming and have been featured in Blue Marble Review, Rattle, Mineral Lit Mag, Josephine Quarterly, Barren Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the NF2W9 2020 poetry scholarship and is currently studying English Language and Literature at the University of Benin, Nigeria. She says hello.