Photo credit: x1klima via Flickr.


What happens when your brother who loves that song

“and when you sleep I’ll find my way into your dreams…”


What does the song become? A tombstone? A portrait?

A simulacrum? or the elegy itself?


I still remember grief hot in our blood

The way it burnt like we had never seen fire,

Only waded in time, waiting for my brother to die.


Two months later, I dreamt an inferno

Chased us all in the city out of our lives

And into itself—even the baby in the incubator I tried to save


Mother says grief sediments in our bodies like rocks

And the company of grief overshadows the weight of absence

I watch my strange bedfellow make a shelf of my bones

And o my body, hollow of sighs

I will not chase this grief away,

I choose him over absence, always and always.



About the Writer:

Immaculata Abba is a writer and photographer studying History and Comparative Literature at Queen Mary University of London. She was a 2017 Apples and Snakes Writing Room fellow, and her writing has previously been published on Popula, Saraba, Arts and Africa, and other platforms.