Jonathan Endurance


inside my mother's mouth
is a ticking bomb when prayer point
becomes a bargain between her and God
i do not know what to name my grief
i call it the tip of a knife straying 
to the root of my stomach
everything my hand touches turns black 
my problem isn't how well i persevere 
since kindergarten people call me little angel
yet the sky is so dark and there is no heaven 
made for my wings to soar
my name tastes like acid 
i wonder if God still pronounces me
without burning 
my mother prays i soar like little bubbles 
only if she knew bubbles are thin
world easily knifed by the wind 

in the mirror, i hold my body with a gaze
my reflection is a flickering candle flame 
ready to quench 
inside my throat is a December sky
everything is so frozen
my voice shatters like brittle shards
these undertows pride on
taking dominion over the oceans
they do not know inside my mouth
are earthquakes i chew before bedtime 
i walk my body to the shore
i am shocked at the size of my footprints 
it is enough to say grief has claimed 
a larger part of my flesh
i imagine my body a firefly 
crushed by the fist of night
my name is anything sounding like 
glasses against glasses, 
metals against metals 

Jonathan is a young black poet who writes to heal his emotional wounds. He lives somewhere in Benin City, Nigeria. He has his work on or forthcoming in various magazines and journals — Eunoia ReviewCanvas Literary JournalKalahari Review, DeLugeIndolent BooksElectronic PamphletBrittle PaperAfrican WriterRising Phoenix ReviewColdnoon MagazineTuck Magazine and host of others. He can be reached on (Twitter @joepoet_) (Instagram @joepoet_) and (Facebook @Jonathan Endurance).