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Shawn Awagu Jan 20
I grew, shot out of the Earth
Like a fleeing shoot
I strained higher and higher
Faster and faster from my poisoned roots
Years spent waiting, watching the stars of heaven twinkle and romp
I put all my hopes into reaching them

But nobody told me they'd be gone by the time I got here
No one told me they'd move
And that I'd still have my poisoned roots
Shawn Awagu Dec 2019
I had no knowledge from where it came
I had no forewarning of this tale to tell
But the stone lay shimmering across my path
Lying in tall grass parted for my way

A walk I took to clear my head
To breathe in fresh air and dim the pain in my head
Shallow sunlight streaked across the morning sky
Crickets, chirping birds, and civilization all creeping at that hour

Past the deserted park and over gently-sloped hill
Right ‘round the corner, across the sunken ditches
I walked to walk and walked to blank my brain

Suddenly, Sky's eye rose slightly higher
Gave way to royal goitered rays slicing the air
I saw it, laying there
I saw it! The stone called me by name!

I was blinded, emboldened
Drawn to quaking power
My feet surged forward
My hands outstretched

God I am among men! Emperor I am among Kings!
This stone I have grabbed and this stone which is my own
Is the stone by which the world will fall
Fall to my influence, my conquest
My desires

Gravity brought me back to Earth
The sound of broken silica quietly folded into the morning buzz
Hiding in plain sight, making itself unknown in the sunlight
The rock was slipped from my hands and gone from my life

Back over sunken ditches, left to turn
Slinking down the hill, back through silent playground
I returned again to my former life
Serendipity no longer my name
Shawn Awagu Dec 2019
“So soon must I go my love?”
Said I with bold Shakespearean jest
A giggle escaped
From her rosy lips, let suddenly out from her mind’s possessions
With goofy smile and posh accent,
She replied in kind to my intent
“Of course good sire! You will now take your leave”

A flood of mirth and good faith, a shower of genuine joy
Blossomed with liveliness betwixt our figures
Oriented sideways, laying on low-cropped carpet
Our laughing drifted freely in good humorous air
Dying slowly into breaths and smiles, her bountiful hair
Glowed softly in that room
Softening my jagged soul, fixing it with tempered gaze

Though Heaven’s eye and lovely Earth
Quarreled on that day, separated by grey droplets of clumpèd air
In low light, I still retained a clear vision of my love laid before me
In Venusian position, a blush from our previous merriment
Still traveled up her throat and up her cheek
Marking her lovely countenance proudly with color because of me

Those moments are now dead and gone
The ungrateful witch has left me to hang
Solely by my neck
In a noose of my own sorrow, growing tighter and tighter until one day I will break
And I will die and I will suffocate
Under the weight of my body and my baggage
This love was not real! Only a lust dressed up in *****'s clothes that shrivels up in the light

Bah! Who cares about wenches these days? The wretches
Merely prowl about the countryside, searching for untested men
Nay, boys
To draw water from, tying them down and breaching their chests
Reaching in and stealing their best
Traits and memories and garments and vex them
Out of their minds and out of their hearts
Out of their homes and out of their children’s arms!

Nay, I say! What, **! Dare you contravene my verity?
That my heart was broken? That much is truth
That I was told, “You are not good enough.”
Shawn Awagu Dec 2019
I looked, and I saw him standing there
The door opened, and with it swelled a lukewarm breeze
He smelled of aging spring, perhaps early summer
He smelled like David-he was the boy indeed I knew for 3 years

His gait bounded and sprung, much like his pulse
He could never sit still, blessing and curse in one boy
He greeted me upon entering, our palms crossed in a handshake
The exact nature was secret, known only to our tangled minds

A tangle of limbs he was indeed, clumsy and spry
His handwriting not much better, a reflection of his flair
That didn’t matter though, David was much like me
We were just like two aces in a hand of Destiny

I had been alone in that classroom extension, left to my thoughts
Swirly and dark, the beginnings of a somber chapter in my life
Nonetheless, a sun still lay shining at the end of that verse
Shining until what was to transpire finally turned the page

Never to beat around the bush, in characteristic style
David expressed an affinity for me, a liking, a tangible affection
A dagger cleaved through he and me, severing us in two
You were left with some of me, and I with some of You

I turned away from him, my mind and my heart made up
All the illusions I had of myself broke- for a moment I knew who I truly was
I rejected him and walked away
But couldn’t resist coming back and stabbing him again

The hole in my heart drove me to hopeless pastures
I was infected with a disease and was determined he would get it too
Only later on grasping my folly would the regret set in
God, it did, and I can never let it go

Long as I live, I will remember that spring
Early in the summer
I will remember that breeze that carried his scent towards me
And I will remember the sight of him broken-by me
Shawn Awagu Dec 2019
I love the sound of rain
It fills a heart that swoons with
Memories and pain that never go away

I love the sound of rain
Gale force winds and rumbling thunder
Rain delicate destruction down on
An Earth that’s deserving

I love the sound of rain
It silences the crackle of
Every warm campfire and its songs
Provides wet tinder for my match to burn

I love the sound of rain
I love the sky as it darkens and
All light leaves the world as it pours
Sky opens with tears of heaven
Weeping for a broken Earth I’m

Not sure if I like the rain
There’s no Sun left to guide behind
Burdened clouds
And Time become still

I think I hate the rain

When Earth was still young
It rained 10 million years
Before void wasteland
Became beautiful Ocean

It rains a lot over here
I am not sure
If it ever stops raining
Shawn Awagu Dec 2019
The restaurant is quiet, relatively, the one that
Maya told you about yesterday at lunch
She and her boyfriend mentioned “Three’s Company”—
No not the show—
And how we should go out there sometime
“Yeah, maybe we should”
You said because you don’t know how to say no

The lighting is warm, like an Olive Garden
But there’s a draft on your neck and your hands are cold because there is no one standing next to you
You wish you were there instead; even though this place looks nice, you don’t know if it actually is
And you start to feel the vibrations

Before you psych out and walk out, you sit down at a table and wait for an underpaid waitress—
There she is—
“Hello, my name is Elif and welcome to Three’s Company. What would you like to order?”
You spot her nametag—
“Excuse me, would you happen to be of Turkish descent?”
Her eyes light up—
“Wow, how’d you know that? Everyone just thinks I’m American.”
Remember, she has to be nice—
“I like exploring languages cultures. I find it fascinating that we’re all the same, yet so radically different in our own way.” This doesn't actually make sense, but it sounds interesting.
Her eyebrows dance. Cute—
“Well Mr. Philosopher, what can our establishment provide for you today?”
Quick, glance at the board—
“American Classic. No pickles”
“Coming right up!”

Her pen damages the atmosphere for a few moments, and then she’s gone
You almost feel like you’re human until you remember she’s underpaid to smile and small talk
And your hands start shaking again; look I’m sorry kid
I like you
But you’re not much company
Shawn Awagu Dec 2019
Normally this isn’t the way it goes, but this time I’ll do differently
And so I ask who are you? What is your name?
Do you like running? I do as long as I can breathe

I dream of a day where I can run freely in silent poplar forests without my lungs weighing me down

What is your favorite kind of music? Do you like pop, rock, or hip-hop?
Is your soul kneaded and worked by tender hands like Jazz? Swing?

I may not look the part, but I love classical music; there’s something about listening to Chopin’s Nocturnes that makes me feel as if I am right there with him, sitting in the pews of an abandoned church whose dead parishioners long ago grew bored of contemplating their sins. I feel as if I am gently sipping his breath like one would coffee that’s still a bit too hot, savoring the stories he weaves out of thin piano strings that taste like moonlight
It is a flavor that seldom is tiresome
I wish I could cook some for you

If you could go anywhere, anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Would you roll into an airport with your luggage in New York? Tokyo?
Would you brave the crushing heat of Cairo for a glimpse of Giza?

I would go anywhere, anywhere you’d like, as long as we come home
I’ll open the door and immediately turn on the space heater—I can sense you hate being cold
While the tea is warming on the stove, we’ll talk about your favorite artist’s best album
Listening until we’re interrupted by the shrill shriek of a teapot needing attention
And that night I will dream that my footsteps will never be lonely

I’m terribly sorry, who are you and what is your name?
I do not know; you are there and I am in here; my mouth is so dry it hurts

Neither coffee nor alcohol can spur me to action
There is nothing I can drink
I can imagine, but I will never ask
I already have, so many times
A letter from the past

— The End —