Felix Bongjoh

Shisong-Bui, Cameroon
Felix Bongjoh
Shisong-Bui, Cameroon
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Night Splits Into April Day

(i)

Arc on the head,
a straight matchstick
of a cloud
thickens and tilts.

In the punching puff
of a rattled wind
from howling air,
the stick stiffens.

As if in the hands
of a painter sprinkling
patches and gobs
of black rolling ink,

night unfolds leaning
on a carob sheet of air.
Strikes it, sliding against
an umber rusty cloud.

And shot-out sparks
of lightning spears
pierce night's skin

to bleed again, splashing
drizzling stitched onyx
glowing with coals.

Flying off to burn air
with a flameless
fumy fire of muted hue,

as night bleeds, more
black blood of night
splashed and spilled
onto its thick black coat.

Blowing, bloating it
into a full bloom
of dark brown night
thick and gritty as sandpaper.

(ii)

At a squall's edge
running into a gale
with flat tires,
we've mounted
tall giraffes of hope,

but fallen, fallen.
on the backs of tortoises
we're falling no more,
as we trail body and bones
to a perch by a beach.

We've been rolled
and dragged through
a dark tunnel
of creeping, snailing night
without whorl -
without antenna,

smelling Christ's wounds
on the crucifix
of stars in syzygy
crawl slowly
swallowed by a dawn moonlight.

Why is the graphite
and flint skin of night
not taking off some
of its crow feathers?

(iii)

Why has a slim chopped
moonlight lost its glow
to night's unroofed castle
wearing the plastic hat
of a dwarf hut

in the drifting slum
of thick night
still standing like a forest
with tree branches
in the wind
closing up their green palms
for an Easter orison?

No, hear the beach
of April's morning unfold
low whirring waves,

as it rips open the sky
to let sun's amber rays
land on a taupe carpet
seating lime leaves of stars,

a sky sprayed
on a church's floor of earth
to let us bow to lick dust
and clay, of which we're made.
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4/12/2021 4:14:46 PM # 1.0.0.559