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December 12, 2017 | Poetry

Autobiography Inside a Church

Hussain Ahmed

Autobiography Inside a Church photo

-For Ozubulu


Here, there is no winter,
it’s either flooding or burning
the bell rings inside an empty cathedral
I became invisible until I make for the door
raising both legs at a time
until the bullets sprayed the silence with blood
I have a bed for sale or I have a gun for sale
though my father was a gate keeper   at a military cemetery
I know nothing about writing eulogy for the dead
there are perfect days to die and perfect seasons for burial
this country only mourns those that died on weekends. 
my parents taught me the art of prayers
I don’t have to lose a finger before I confess a sin.
the first rule was
never get yourself trapped within the chaos of tongues
my parents taught me to say ‘surrender’
in a dozen foreign languages.
when I close my eyes to pray, I do not see angels bidding my gun
I see my parents reading from another volume of;
[how to safely throw stones in a glass house]
I heard the bell ring the second time, 
a man jumps over me, a plaintive song
slithers from my mouth, but my lips were swollen
like the tulips on the bench of a park, mid noon, in autumn
I hope my confessions made it beyond the chandelier
before it got stained in blood,
beads on tiles, the cathedral continued its silence.

 

image: Jeremy Ackman


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