Felix Bongjoh

Shisong-Bui, Cameroon
Felix Bongjoh
Shisong-Bui, Cameroon
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Nobody Ever Dies

(i)

Against a mirror of mind
capturing a screen of earth
spread out to the banks
of fast-running singing rivers,
nobody ever dies,

but cuts elastic breath
into wallowing hairs of air,
and melts off
life's burning candle
burping and blurting off

to stay in a waxy air of ash,
a hearth of memory
that glows with a silver hollow
of who we grasp
and don't grab, as they stand.

Life strays and steers
a wheel of wind
to handling hands growing
with a shark's mouth

to swallow life into silt
that keeps us glued below
a mirror of water
expanding its wings
to far-flung shores by ripples
carrying our breath
we do not see and hear.

(ii)

Etched out against
mind's rocky mirror seated
into roots that stir
the bottom of a tree

to rise with flowers
and wave
mind's color,
that spins snaking rainbows

from a deep gorge
digging out life
from diving roots held by the stub
of a baobab tree.

Nobody ever dies beyond
the air-brushing height
of a baobab tree flipping out
fingers of roots

to mulch a sky of stars
and comet tails
to light up a brighter sky.

(iii)

Against a mirror of sun-lit water,
life hangs on in ripples
spat out by a grain of sand,
one of a thousand dots

on beach floors stretching
out to the staircase
carrying cases of stars
in a drowned memory floating.

Floating, floating
with the hands of love
we fail to clinch

to our rocky chests
scooping out
silhouettes from glow faces
stretched out.

Drawn out with latex fabric
to the dimple that buries us
with the silhouette
of the river that bears us
to the banks of ourselves.
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