The Origin of a Simple Rhythm

Prosper C. Ìféányí

I am in need of so many simple wants. 

    The fire gnawing the wood. 

This body reddening after it has known 

         Dark seasons. I don’t mind the photos pinking 

Away in the closet. I knew a boy by how 

His light imploded into suffering. 

I know the sweet syntax of 

     Marigolds supple with salt & water. 

     In physics class, I am taught 

That an electron can all by itself have infinite mass 

          & charge. & yet you ask me why 

I am so alone. & It’s funny, because everytime 

             You get the same answer— 

Maybe I should be grateful that it is not my head 

     On the platter. I am the axe plotting 

              My way through the body’s dune. 

I delight in the business of fallacies. 

          My hands opening up like hymens in the 

Threshold. I ask my father the origin 

      Of my name, & yet, hope that my name 

Doesn’t become something no creature wants. 

      There is a godlike wetness blooming 

Between my legs, soft, plush, ephemeral. 

         I saunter in my grief the way a good child 

Should. I reach for the field with 

        A gilded song—the thousand symphonies 

Plucked from the tongue’s arch. 

I am old enough to understand the metamorphosis 

     Of change, the bell jar tolling & tolling. 

The body memorizing the sun’s 

          Golden tirade. My body bursting in pleats. 

My synchronous heart beating 

        Two rhythms—one for me, & one for you.

Prosper C. Ìféányí writes from Lagos, Nigeria. His works are featured or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, The Offing, South Dakota Review, Magma Poetry, Obsidian, ANMLY and elsewhere.

Artwork: “Colorkoshiepta2024” by Cynthia Yatchman

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