after that confession night wherein my mother was healed of cancer I
Aremu Adams Adebisi

a poem always begins with an element / and i wonder what this poem will begin with / my eyes stained by the horizon / deterred by clouds basking in the euphoria / of their cumulus dog-and-cat shapes / posing to human photographic eyes / like a younger me / would cut out of brittle paper / to make birds and boats /  


but some have found inscribed / on these clouds / the name of their gods / each reinforcing claim of superiority over the other / the true god is who the trees / could emulate in their pattern of fluttering / what the clouds could bizarrely form / in relatively thoughtless shapes / what humans could violently confess / for miracles /

i don't know to where this poem / is leading me / so i water my eyelashes with the urine of a jinniyah / that i may be pulled into their din / and taught everything wrong / in human paradise of truth / my mother / confessed her sins / in a church / pushed onto the ground / by the thumb of his holiness / her breasts sprawled into dust / while my father looked away in worship / where all reasons put their guns down /

what the earth / had claimed from my mother's breasts / what the sea had drunken with strychnine / could be returned back to her / her fallen hair / dragon-faced countenance / contoured fingers / could be healed / by his holy tongue / speaking in the hieroglyphs of birds / directions of candle flames / even as she stretched on that ground / like a forged weapon / unready for battle /

we say your holiness / we say glory your holiness glory / after that confession night / with the belief mother had been healed / of cancer / and we cooked a great meal / and talked like a great family / and shared a great bread / a great wheat-laugh / and great fallen sorrows / but i heard my mother say thank you / for the money you paid her / thank you for the scene / thank you for the script / thank you for the plot / and that tomorrow / she would come again to act miracles /

Aremu Adams Adebisi Adebisi is a non-fiction writer and poet living in Lagos. He authors work inspired by natural vastness, some of which are published in Lucent Dreaming, Thimblelitmag, Third Wednesday Magazine, The Account Magazine, RIGOROUS, Cathexis Northwest Press, Terse Journal, Nzuri Journal, Bath Magg, Barren Magazine, etc. He is both Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee.