Come tomorrow, I will die.
Shadow in comparison to real form,
Immersed in water, will my eyes be open
In search of a sign in the sky?
Or will they betray this fantasy and be shut like
an actor in the clutches of a scene?
Will I taste the water, or will some go down my nostrils?
Will this fake death have me prisoner for a few seconds, and will calm flee and flesh seek
Perhaps I’ll find the water warm and welcoming
Or perharps cold and indifferent
To a sinner like many others
In need of a second chance.
Willing participant of this simple yet complex act. Unfazed by its publicty
Or skilled at hiding it well.
Will there be a mischievous stone at the riverbank?
That would cause me to stumble
And temporarily wish to make the river my grave?
Or will my short walk be smooth like a river creature returning home?
In those seconds immersed in flowing water, will I feel the transition to this new life?
Will the sky be clear or randomly dotted by birds?
Oh, for a sign to make a good story!
Pulled out from water,
Will I greedily gasp for air?
Or feign calm, like oxygen I hadn’t missed. Will I shiver beneath dark clouds?
Or bask in the warmth of the glorious sun?
Will I stand in wait for the others?
Or be permitted to put on warm clothing—
First domestic act of this new life?
How changed will I be?
Set in default?
Will new mistakes replace old ones?
Will I ask these many question then or will I just know?
Water drops from the kitchen tap—
My only companion in this web of boredom,
I take it as the tick,tick,tick, of my faulty clock,
Countdown to tomorrow,
Host to my death and resurrection.
Image source: Baptism
This is a beautiful, complex, and perplexing poem. It evokes the questioning uncertainty that dogs that moment right before we take the plunge into an unknown experience. The fear that we could come out of this experience a changed person is as frightening as the fear that we might just remain the same.
Obehi Aig is an 18 year old writer and avid reader, currently studying English and literature in the University of Benin. She enjoys traveling, writing about complex characters and being herself even when people aren’t prepared for it. She iscurrently working on a collection of short stories partly to disprove an online page claiming that “Teen Writing Sucks…