Coloured James by Oderinde Iyanuoluwa
On a discarded milk-can I sat
Munching carcass maize cobs
Spitting out the sucked and crushed bits
The sadness of it all
How life could be so full one moment
Yet empty the next
Heard the rain beat steady hits on tin
With childish whim discarded clothes
To sit naked in the slapping sleets
Hands lifted up in supplication
A hope for cheap absolution
Would the rains away wash chains
And birth new life?
I sat. Knees folded. Face up.
In hopes of what gifts the gods would bestow
Empty handed, dripping, I ran back inside
The madness of it all
I laid in a dark cage
Wool for my black soul
If only I could take a long white whiff
And trade my soul in ghoul bargain
My directionless sole might snag a white lover
Plus a glittering mansion
Her pains I feel in my heart
As if I were salvation from cancerous crosses
Nonetheless, she’s gone from me for ever
Her silent screams caress my ears
As she endured the slaps and punches
Drunken fists and hateful darts
I can touch her cries
On the whitewashed wall. On her bruised body.
Her fragile body bloodily violated over and over
Strangers. Trusted faces.
Thrusting. Thrusting. Trampling trust with ruthless lusting
Excruciating spasmic pain as a sword through a heart
I without seeing smell caked blood on soft sheets
Barely covered she’s condemned to the streets
Cold, hungry, and deserted
Cold steels of death whizzing and blowing
There’s warm blood flowing in the earth
Fashion of frozen hearts with no beat
I would cry. Cry?
Oh. Would I cry?
I have cried
Pillows wet with tears
Shed silently for love that never flowered
Fervently flowing for flowers that never bloomed
I am James
Ironic life has deceived me
Deceived into thinking I could fly like an eagle
That I could reach out and cradle the stars
When I could barely crawl like a snail
See these buttoned black [brass] clothes closing in
With bristling batons and pulsing pipes
The flashing lights getting distant and dimmer
My soul seeps sorrow. I weep for all.
No justice. Not a glimmer.
Black. Down. Dead.