for Monday Osadiaye
It is evening now, the decanter
is empty. Your faded pictures
on walls stare
at me, belittling death.
Winds from open windows
begin song. Outside, parrots gossip
tattoos of dead sailors. I hear
a freedom song, fable of men
jumping boat, saving a drowning girl.
We are capable of miracles, says the Jinn
of water. Where are you? I whisper. I walk
out the door, keys jangle my pockets.
Before me the sea spread wide arms,
what is awake is beauty, what is dead is beauty.
The night is sober, awaiting the outturn
of my pockets. I walk toward water,
crows are here, singing softly.
Romeo Oriogun was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He is the author of Sacrament of Bodies (University of Nebraska Press, 2020). His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, McNeese Review, Bayou, Brittle Paper, and others. He currently is an MFA candidate for poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received the John Logan Prize for Poetry.