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A Poem Where Goodbye(s) Means What the Hands Cannot Hold Anymore | Anderson Moses

A Poem Where Goodbye(s) Means What the Hands Cannot Hold Anymore | Anderson Moses

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By Moses Anderson

After Amanam Ndem

                    You have heard that the cemetery has more talents, but this I tell

                                    you, harbour no fear. In this life, we will  fall, fail, and die. 

                                    And it doesn’t  diminish the beauty of being here in the flesh

Olumide Manuel

At midnight, I stepped into the armpit of the rain

to embalm your kindred body on the entrance

of my lip. To be sure the news was a dream,

I lapel half of you in my mouth. By this, I measure


the amount of loss sitting on my tongue

like grains of April dust. A bus driver says,


kai, life na housefly. & I phone-tap an

emoji that embodies the number of times

a river lingers in my eyes, & the number

of times I watch your name spring into


a church hall like heavy smokes.

The door is open, & a stranger walks in,


with a black & white photograph sharing subtle

similarities with you. I offered him a seat

in the center of the room — where I bald

your memories to a black bird screwing


its shadow on wet grasses. Today,

I pocket-sized you into a history class &


a friend recognises your face by a glimpse.

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So I gave her this poem, & she pillowed

a flower on her chest, as if to say, this poem is a stone 

— it’s heavy on my lips. Look, at you, combing


into the body of boys with bereavement.

It’s midnight again & one of the boys bones


out your miniature — I jumped inside a coffin

& placed two Bible verses on the center of your chest.

I want to say; this is for the goodbyes you left unsaid. 

But the stranger says — son, there’s time for everything.



Anderson Moses is a Nigerian poet. He’s a student studying History and International Studies. His works have found home in many literary magazines, including Brittle Paper, Nantygreens, Eboquills, Arts Lounge, Synchronized Magazines, Black Boy Review, Creativity Magazines and elsewhere. He writes about memory and hope.

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