October 7, 2022

By Ogah Friday David

I do not fret when my prayer refuses flight. Perhaps I pray to the wrong god,
or my prayer dabs a sieve and my voice filters into deadwood for the witches.

I wish there is a receipt for litany, and religion is just barter;
and if that was, maybe being a deity would be
a vocation and my ware, only mourning and grief. I, too,
would try to be god for once.
If you ask what disturbs me, how do I say? How does a wroth wind
lament if not in psalms of impolite whistling? Fate forsakes my gnashing; I am whisked
away into a morsel of jeer like a taboo on a market woman’s tongue
— God forbid!

A poem is not enough space for my protest.
Even my lumber sweep the
feet of the angels. They do not remember me anymore, and
I ask in whose image I was created if the cherubs nix my evensongs.
My spine suffers from the marveling of the laity. You see that now, my body, too,
is a bridgehead and one part shells the other: my hand is my back’s arch foe
and my tooth, my lips’. Is this not a falling apart?

For what cause does one curse the other?
Or maybe cuss is the new prayer. But isn’t that blasphemy?
I am sullied. How come a prayer is thrown to the vultures but curses follow
he who professes with his mouth? Does it then
follow me if I curse myself with good things and
hope that I have fooled God?

 

Ogah Friday David is an essayist and literary aesthete. He has featured poems in Nantygreens Mag, The Rising Phoenix Review, EBOquils, IHRAF [International Human Rights Arts Festival] Publishes, and Agapanthus Magazine. When not writing, David reads works on African literary criticism and watches a lot of movies.

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