Coloured James


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.


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