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.