Abiku

Say your farewell and stretch your legs.

Who says empty nests must hold sorrow?

Or that empty baskets hold no water?

 

Child, let me tell you what the world knows

The abiku was not born to stay. No.

It was born to find a reason. Any reason

To come and go and come and go.

To leave torment and tears in its wake.

 

Go ahead and make your sacrifices.

Pour libation and plead till you’re hoarse.

Pray for another god than the one that

has painted your back black with grief.

 

Child, the world knows tis futile.

The abiku was not born to stay. No.

It was born to find a reason. Any reason

To breathe its last. Again and again.

To leave you wandering and wondering in its wake.

 

And if you find yourself dancing to a strange song.

It is not because your legs have forgotten

which part of the ground holds more water.

Or where the bones are crooked from all the shaking.

 

Child, let me tell you what the world knows.

The abiku was not born to heal. Or to fill womb

(redacted)

 

Reminisce on the nights of small limbs tucked in bigger. Now, snap out of it.

When you are sure that the earth will hold you,

remember that the abiku is never born and that

you remain, like a lost continent, barren.

 

Child, here’s what you do, or what you don’t

Seal up your womb; send him on his way.

And when they ask why your house is quiet,

Tell them that the world knows the abiku was not born to stay.

 

Note
One night a couple of weeks ago, amidst tears, I wrote a weird poem. The next day I e-met a young man who had written a poem for/about me. We got chatting, and later I sent him what I’d written the night before and he made it awesome. Thank you, JSL.

 

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