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Paul Idiaghe Aug 2021
The furniture here: a space
aching to wear your texture

once again. By night
it is my grief—an ambush

of ghosts. What grace
shall I turn to? Behind

every sacred canvas
on this wall I have traced

out your face. The
webbing of these cracks

I keep neglecting
so I can gather a living

symbol of what spiraled
between my wants

& your wading away from me.
There is nowhere to move onto.

I have sealed the door
to the stairwell of my spine;

my body a basement
brimming with aloneness.

There is only this ribbed
window through which I stare

at a larger window stained  
with the moving trace of you.
#loneliness #heartbreak #love
Paul Idiaghe Jul 2021
I never meant to fall

but sunrise greased your chassis.
The crest and fall of your jaw—

the blade and bend of it,
mudslide contouring of it—

dropped me ribless at your feet.

O promising land, crisp field  
of flesh, whose fireflies

steered my eyes in the darkness—
your land, where my eyes had strayed—

scaled over eolian caves, the slick
basins of your clavicle, onto
the hexa hillocks clustered
like honeycomb chambers
on your abdomen.

I never meant to fall,

but the cursive lines of you,
I might have trod with loose eyes—

even now, there is a voice
drawing them to strike
at the aquifer beneath your waistline,

voice of vined thirst,
of torso and tug—
with them, I struck and drowned
after ‘Waist and Sway’ by Natalie Diaz
Paul Idiaghe Jun 2021
press your ears to the green
of your eden. listen
to hell, its realness. it is the feeling  

that I write from. a distant burn
that blinks in the blackened
pages of his chest

as a star—only a piece
of the map that has led his heart
to yours, only a sliver to be scrapped  

by sunrise. I could speak of this:
his garden, the teeth around its margins,
or the way I waded near its grin,

with both eyes unbuttoned & my soft
heart worn inside-out. but your flesh
is ivory, & where it tapers, a key

to his own. but your throat is flute
enough to tread through his walls. listen.
I will speak of the wild heart

holding you. I have touched it
with my shadows, the deep
rays of my dreams. I have been

to its shrubs that whirl about
like wicks, the ponds full of laughter,
& the caves with leaping  

tongues. they are mystery
& aplenty. I could not quench them,
but you will, you will. if one

day, as you lay in his fields,
I stumble over his sky like a word
on fire. remember,

love, to make of me,
a better wish.
Paul Idiaghe Apr 2021
you are the hand
hauling back
my cries. my mother’s
mother hardened
from dust.
you are almost
my eyes.

you are not sky
or frozen air.
i suspect  
you have no skin.

love is my left
wing smacked
on your pane
that i mistook
for an open door.

i let the nights
do their undoing
of my feathers into light.
maybe this way
you would welcome me.
written after Diane Di Prima’s poem on the same title.
Paul Idiaghe Apr 2021
I am ready
to ring your rib

around my wrist
in triumph—

the faintest of relics    
enliven me. My lips

still layered
as in the night you lost them.

I hope to hammer  
your heart

& stuff its soil
in the sutures

of your skull;
I want to call that

the shadow to

I want our memories never
to seep; to set

them up for decryption.
Unloving is a study—

consider an archaeologist’s
tentative hands

demystifying an artifact
once treasured for its secret

& leaving no spots
written after Kevin Young’s poem on the same title
Paul Idiaghe Feb 2021
Still, you are a muted morning
cradled like a mango—yet

to yellow—in the basket
of my ribcage. May your tongue

have no take from
these tomorrows that taste

of teeth. Dawn where the red ash
stings, fetch your face

from the flames;
if you are fleshed with mine,

flay it off—slowly
you would bleed your own

light. If the night
strips itself of its black dress

and hangs it on your heart,
do not be afraid

to wear it. & When
the weight of your warmth

brings the dust *******  
your knees, kiss

me back, & heal,
rise still.
Paul Idiaghe Dec 2020
Surely, that sunset is only
his lemon heart falling down

the globe. Love, how you draw the red
from his aorta, smear it

over his center. Surely, this slow sneaking
darkness is only ink spilling to grieve

his beloved—see how metaphors rip that fluff
to constellations; their twinkle would trace

her torso; her treasures; her tales.
& earth would shut its mouth

to listen to his star-studded silence,
would stare as color fades

to soul. Surely the sky is not
so different from me.
this title is a line from Sylvia Plath.
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