—for boys who endured abuse

someday, the lost shall meet the dead

a boy wanders away into the woods gathering the bones of dead predators

littered unevenly here, there, everywhere—he calls them flowers.

he stoops to pick up an arm–his aunt’s–the arm that fed him fufu in infancy

& taught him the dance of a nympho before he learned to spell puberty.

he turns around and spots a skull–his priest’s–

the face he loathes with pious disgust

& tries, in futility, to erase the memories

of him at the communion of anal thrusts.

a breath away lies a limb, his senior,

the brash one who walked him down the hub of porn

as rite of passage to self-pleasure.

like a scavenger, he collects bones & bones—a hip, a jaw,

some ribs, fingers & elbows, all filling his emotional baggage

with the remains of taunting memories.

soon, he arrives at his destination—cemetery;

drops on his knees & wiping his sweaty face,

stretches over his mother’s grave, saying:

mother, i brought you flowers, a banquet of bones.

Jaachị Anyatọnwụ is a contributor at Poemify Publishers, a literary blog for young African writers. He’s a Human Resource & Personnel Management student of Michael Opara University of Agriculture, Umudike. His poems have been published in several prints and online publications, including Disquiet Arts, NantyGreens Journal, Afrolit Magazine, ACEworld Magazine, Word Rhymes & Rhythm, Conscio Magazine, Punt Volat, Poemify Magazine, The Rising Phoenix Review, Tush Stories, and African Writers.