When I Feel Like Summoning My Old Parts…

I like to look into old rooms, searching for pieces

of myself left in a cupboard.

Quite often, I do not make peace with whom I find because,

who is this stranger?

I want to assemble my old parts into someone familiar,

someone I can run away with.

But that’s the thing with old rooms, it’s like

returning to a city you once scorned, and maybe that is how

the cupboard feels about my visit.

the birds sing more poetry than we do…

but I suppose that is natural; being that their language is not self-made, coerced into submission, dragged through the oceans a thousand miles away from their ancestral roots.

we could never be better with the tongue that was forced down our throats by our previous admirers, or so we thought them to be.

we sing our hymns in fractions because we are scared of hurting someone else’s ears.

is it really singing if it is noise to our audience?

time to time, we struggle to pull down shadows that refract our light, while we are the shadows of another’s promising future.

so we envy the birds, not because of their freedom; we have shared in that illusion, only, it appears more authentic to them than it is to us.

we envy the birds because we are still learning to cut off the tongue that we were not created with.

Akpa–Esu, Promise Michael is a Nigerian creative writer who is mostly interested in poetry and nature. He sees the two as being mutually compatible. They heal him. Whenever he’s not taking shots of nature, he’s writing short poems. His shots and poems can be found on Instagram: @akpaesu_jnr (for photography) and @thefortyfifth_sense (for poems). Some of his works have been published in Arts Lounge Journal: Volume One, My Woven Poetry and elsewhere. He is a 400level student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He studies in the Department of English and Literary Studies.