since fourteen, my mind has hung in there as a globe of memories. i poke it every evening, and, as it whirls round, every image that comes is a map of old days that do not grow old. every figure is a person who came, went, but stayed. stayed. etched on the skin of my spirit like epitaphs on ancient egyptian gravestones.
i like indian religions. i’ll say sorry to the priest at confession. but yes, reincarnation… many many nights have i prayed — to God — it is possible. i’ll re-receive salvation. as hindu or buddha. secure a gateway into samsara. & savour life till thirteen. repeat… repeat. because it was at fourteen i mastered the synthesis of survival; photo-synthesis:
to weld memories out of mental photos. it was at fourteen this soul became ruminant; sitting long to regurgitate old hours. it was at fourteen maturity won this body in a tug-of-me.
i see children everyday. purity looks good on them; looks ridiculous on me (each time i try, i laugh with tears at the clown in the mirror). “you’ve wandered too far from redemption. too far,” my body keeps telling me. so i’ll just tolerate my soul as a testimony of the many impurities that maturity re-baptises our heads into. so i’ll just surrender this soul as a mosaic of old things because the days i live are a water cycle — evaporate. condense. & pour… always leaving me drenched like a shelter-less chicken in a july cloudburst.
Enobong Ernest Enobong
is a Nigerian writer and award-winning essayist resident in Lagos. He writes poetry (including haiku), essays and creative nonfictions. The themes of his works include nature, humanity, culture, Africanism, psycho-social experience and the Divine. His works have been published by Praxis Magazine, Haikuniverse, Brittle Paper, Ghost City Press, The Shallow Tales Review, Arts Lounge, Words Rhymes and Rhythm, Acorn Haiku Journal, Writenow Literary Journal, The Zen Space, Wales Haiku Journal, and elsewhere. In 2021, his work “Incinerating the Cold” was published alongside those of twenty-six other poets in the SprinNG Afro-Eros anthology titled “To Borrow Screams from the Atmosphere.” He is a staunch believer in the power of memories, the formative years of children and the pro-African gospel of Professor P.L.O. Lumumba of Kenya. Currently, Enobong is a law student at the University of Lagos.