Image by Phil Fiddyment via Flickr.

Waking, Or Knife-cuts like Questions on my Left Wrist

“I wake up and on the other side of the bed

is a name that claims me. I cannot

conjure what I was before that moment: rays

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slicing through the wood door are knife cuts like

the questions on my left wrist. What is a man?

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I contemplate for a moment, but a moment is also

a lifetime, and I am on my deathbed.

I turn and throw a final greeting at the name

that claims me: What is a man?

 

Breaking a Fall

sitting on a branch in company of dusk,

a soul opens heavenwards

shares secrets only his thought

and the air can hear

 

a mild breeze responds

speaking the tongue of leaves

 

it says—

this oracle speaking in the tongue of leaves—

 

nothing is

 

the soul concurs

jumps off the branch

 

a kind noose stretches

to catch him around the neck . . .

 

for humans who are scars

when they finally

find our names

hanging

from the sun

remind them

how our tongue

was fire

how that fire

hissed god

how god

was a war

we could never survive

tell them

survival was an abyss we fell into

tell them

we could never

stop falling. . .

 

About the Author:

D. E. Benson’s review has appeared on Brittle Paper. A student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he was Custodian of The Writers’ Community (TWC) in the university and the organizer of Poetry Friday UNN, a poetry and spoken word event. He was Poetry Editor of the university literary journal, The Muse.