Felix Bongjoh

In The Bog

(i)

Unfasten my shirt
and let no button drop,
as it will fly back
with a robin's whisper.

The bog has held me
down to my neck.

Clay is still tightening
its grip on
my breaking waist
hanging down

like legs in the waste
of giraffe's jump
waiting for a cleared path.

Bowing to a cruising
gale sprinkling
more slimy mud
on my sludge-padded face.

The gods have caught me
in a nest of sticky clay
spreading soft sisal fibers

to button me up again
with leafy branches of mud,
as I grow into a tree

without stretchy twigs,
my only fingers too short
for a crab-clasped grip
in a tide of mud drifting in.

The clayey mounds
tighten their fingers
on my face,

a mask with eyes
plucked out
to swim in thick floods,

water clinging
to flannel and woolen
coats of mud.

(ii)

On my shoulders
new slabs of mud climb
and drop off

with the thud of beasts
fleeing with no
pawfalls to scream to me.

No rolling clawfalls
to widen their eyes

bawling out
with a thundering
blue whale's voice:

You're not mud-chained
alone in this dungeon
of mud sticking to my body

like sprayed stroking
palms and winged gazes,
a mud-slimmed grin

tightening my face
into an alligator's frown
loaded with spikes.

Sky, toss off
your widening mirror
to me to see

my new crocodile mouth
devouring the only a piece
of me left, a monarch
perched on the sky,

waving no monarch butterfly
hand wings at me
but a pricking mauling song:

You created a monarch,
the bog holding you down.

Stay fixed like a compass
to sketch the mud-spiraling
path you chose -

to snatch you off
a flying eagle
with an air-sweeping wingspan
and crowing wing tips.

Topic(s) of this poem: tyranny

Poem Submitted: Friday, September 25, 2020

Form: Free Verse


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