Tares Oburumu 

This is how we learn to love again after the battlefield has won;

go after happiness up the plateau, catch it by its glory and sit in twos

to view the city from end to end. Spread wide the country from door

to door, looking at the blue of the joy filled, future filled sky.

I can see the years of the doves from my arms’ embrace, what does

freedom mean. I can see you, forever, new, infinite and universal, as vast

as my mind caught in its own beginning, expanding the light seen

shining from a distant horizon; this is the spirit the body belongs.

Fireworks exult, each spark is a new nation born. Then, as sudden

as a blink, the sun switches on its other half. A soldier erases

the painting and shoots at the colors we have been adding to the smile,

single, dimpled to a particularity, I swear, we have been strangers,

laughing in that geographical grief we call truss. The bullet touches

my blood, my heart closes. How dark, I ask, was God in the beginning,

West African?

Tares Oburumu is a poet, essayist and playwright. He’s a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Benin. His works have appeared on Connotation Press, Loch Raven Review, Agbowo, Expound, Praxis, Nantygreens, Sentinel, Dawn Review, Naija Stories, Woven Tales Press, YabaLeft Review, Icefloes International journal, Juke, Agonist, Bluepepper, and elsewhere. He is a three time Pushcart Prize nominee. He has six chapbooks of poetry. He’s the winner of the GAP poetry prize and the Tenth winner of the Sillerman prize for African poets