Loving memory

First I notice the weeds.

Towering back and forths—collisions 

of mute prayers disorienting willpower

in scrawny gravediggers who

know the sea of greenery 

by the grace of palm wine

cigarettes and God. 

It’s here I found my grandparents’ graves—

in a maze where cautious 

banter segues into dead-ends 

and u-turns trial and error

relentless machete swings herding us—

there! Iron crosses migratory ripples

untied knots—different paths to 

the same exhausted spirit but now is 

not the time I’m praying. Counting good years

with no record rethinking rough sketches 

of an arranged marriage—hearsay and tones

of diaspora blues stored in fore-closed 

buds with nowhere to grow.

Well-wrought mythology rehabilitates here.

In Kikongo riddles carried by stilts bearing 

marks of sparkling floods unseen by the

darkest brown eyes emboldened to

hibernate for eons in mine.

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