Poetry by Joshua Enam Semanyoh
I cannot write a poem about home
and forget the land that raised me
Sugar – how can a place I left
for years linger on my tongue so?
The liquid in my heart still flows there
Pour me water to drown this thirst
I cannot dream about home
and forget the anguish it brought me
Salt – what taste is left
in the land that buried my brother?
I can no longer identify my father’s door
Pour me a river to drown the memories
The resurrection of Aflao
Death is like a broken tooth that won’t give way for a new crown
You cannot taste wine on a tongue that doesn’t dance
God is the music they taught us to play
And yet they danced to the beat of other gods
It is not fear that makes the fisherman say
Don’t go close if you cannot stand The smell
of sea on the night the moon smiles
My brothers gave up on
The land that swallows
The land’s shallow
The music resounds the cry
that plagued our ears
Can Aflao give birth to kings?
Perhaps it will again try to bury her princes
Yet those who are buried don’t die.
God is the music they taught us to play.
Originally published March 17, 2023