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Paul Idiaghe Aug 11
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 31
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 28
Seek deliverance, the church says,

so I rush quavering
& pink to the lit altar of his pelvis,

kneel to its bells’ solemn
calls, choose not to close my eyes

through hum or lament. In his
presence, I am sin, plain

with my devilish horns—red hot
beast, ***** as hell. He moves me

like fins do water—& I move him
onwards. Unfold my tongue

to his sacrament—bread
-stick, grape wine lips. The gasping

wallops the walls like incense,
& soon we tread through clouds, in a heaven

-ly hour or more. If it is my nature
that I should be delivered into, I have found one,

green, between a man’s bent passion  
& mine. Say pray & I will come

to spray his abdomen
with the loose beads of my rosary.
Paul Idiaghe Jun 9
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 30
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 26
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 1
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.
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