KITO DIARIES PRIZE FOR WRITING: IN PRAISE OF OPEN DOORS

KITO DIARIES PRIZE FOR WRITING: IN PRAISE OF OPEN DOORS

In memory of Akin, beaten to death on 17th of February, 2016 for being homosexual

 

At the end of my suffering, there was a door. ─ Louis Glück.

 

He starts with a riddle, as with all mirrors and cars:

‘Objects in a mirror appear closer than actually their distance.

Tell me. What objects? What mirror?’

I have no answer to this riddle.

My lover’s voice is a rustle of leaves blowing in a cold wind.

‘You lose,’ he says. ‘Here is your prize. Here is your answer.’

 

And he strips to the waist, to the marked cornfield on his back

where his father had proved us wrong.

He undresses further downwards, past the whip marks and stops

at the borderline, within which a room nestles,

holds a woman, a bell, a crucifix. Specialist in exorcisms.

She casts out spirits; they depart and always return.

 

In another room, six boys are bent over

a text, like a cavalcade of ants in the season of plenty.

Another boy’s hand, five pronged,

turns a leaf and starts to read,

‘The Great Spirit has anointed us,’ he is saying,

‘And has sent us to fetch fishers of men;

to cast out the demons in his name.’

 

And this book becomes a boy’s bloodied head,

tries to resurrect from this congregation,

and a tornado rises and falls in his mouth.

The words seeping through like rainwater

from sealed lips, strung together into an echo,

drowned out by the mob in his head

like shoes, too big for a child’s feet.

 

My lover stops at this point.

I want to offer imaginary testimonies in whispers,

I want to say to his father:

our bodies are doors howling in the wind.

I want to say: our bodies are mirrors hidden

in the body of the night,

reflecting moonlight,

are seeds buried in the dark earth in a strange land

but growing back.

Open this door. Come into this dark,

come see for yourself.

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  1. Mandy
    January 26, 00:36 Reply

    Didn’t fully understand this poem, but it has a beautiful lyricism that I can understand makes it the judges’ favorite for them to vote it into first position.
    But I love that it was dedicated to someone real who has suffered such a fatality from the violent homophobia in Nigeria.
    May Akin continue to rest in peace.

  2. Chime
    January 28, 10:04 Reply

    This was beautiful to read.

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