When the wind was heavy on the borderline by Chisom Okafor

after Yusef Komunyakaa

The voice that comes with the winds
at nightfall is a refuge seeker’s, dying inside my head.

His socks;
two burning cities, rise like carbonsmoke.

The wind undressing him, is best served cold
best unveiled in the space between full-light and sundown.

Beyond closed eyes, he sees the world again
a drift of bodies; an elegy to thrushes migrating with rainclouds in August.

The voice I hear belongs to a drowning boy;
is an undecipherable murmur of expelled rain, melting into droplets

back where they come from;
is from a city under siege; is baobab sucked clean of leafage, after a thunderstorm.

Moment after moment, I strain to catch him, the
singer on the borderline, as he traces patterns of a broken cello on clay;

to gift the setting sun before he goes to sleep
facing a home whose doors would never swing open.



Chisom Okafor lives and writes in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have been published or are forthcoming in various literary outlets.

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