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My Father's Body By Wale Ayinla

is an open door. the creaks of the wood, the soft wine

of dayspring lavished on concrete. the skin surfacing

summer heat. maybe the body is the morning light,


the azure of the ocean I am named after. the bay

that leeches. look how I smell of his wild gentleness,

his mouth all over me. a smattering of dark waters


inside my veins. his face, an apology. his silence,

a silver lining–a knife that undoes me. I will pretend

to be my father. the shelter of broken things,


the vanishing. his face, my vowels. the shapes of time

are responsibilities of the dead. how many squares

make a reliquary? in this context, I am the compass


cast upon a pond, the cardinal of ghosts that do not

hunt. the body is also a funeral. I am afraid of running

in this theatre of nightmares. I’ll be the chrome,


the loneliest chapel. I erect a cathedral of sounds

for a throat. sore praises gather towards heaven.

a confetti of my Savior’s dark owls sent into the sky:


“Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?” the voice cushioned to a

makeshift hollow. somehow, the body is also

a resurrection. the dead is never dead until its scent


becomes the soil you walk upon. the bridge

of migration. the dead is also abstract, the roof torn

down by morning crows. my only inheritance.

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