Dad, I’ve safe in my chest those bright years of spring flowers.
I’m listening to Wayne, Burnaboy, Yeezy, Kendrick and Rozay,
and writing this piece in-between. I carry every memory of you
everywhere I go. I am a piece of you that is whole.
I see you in everything I see.
I see you in each of my prayers and dreams.
And somewhere I read that when one prays for
long, silence becomes a prayer too.
I see you in my silence.
I bear your thin legs. Two radiant poles.
One afternoon, I was in one of your striped shirts.
Mum saw me from behind and let out your name.
It took me months to realize how much I look like you.
I bear your oval face. There are no claws in this truth.
Dad, a picture of you is in my wallet.
I carry it like a passport. Of course, it is.
You’re half of my entry into this world.
Dad, people tell me so much about birth and maps.
But I just want to live, travel, love, make love and art
and live, travel, love, make love and art.
I know the taste of iron because the earth is so familiar.
But is this world and everything inside of it not meant to marvel?
If not, Dad, how else will I make peace with the things I am yet to lose?
Dad, everything il-legit here is the new legit.
I’ve been meaning to tell you this in my dreams for long now.
And some boys here first experience sex as rape, so I gathered.
And it takes them years to know this.
I want to understand what I do not understand, Dad.
I think of the skies and wonder about its burning breath.
I remember my losses and imagine home drifting through my loneliness.
I read about the nights and feel sad for things robbed from me, from us.
Mum says a lot of sunrises and sunsets about you.
I wish you had enough time to teach me certain things.
Now I have to learn a lot by myself.
But tell me, Dad, if I search well enough, will I find everything I seek?
Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto’s poems appear in The Common, Malahat Review, Massachusetts Review, Ruminate, Salamander, and elsewhere. He lives in Lincoln, Nebrasa, where he is pursuing a PhD in English.