The Earth You Walked To Me

By OGAGA IFOWODO

The earth you walked to me
spans swamps and savannahs
a fertile plot of pineapples
its sweetness guarded
by thornbush.

The truths of a rising heart
defy mathematical formulas,
its equations find balance
in the salted breath
of your fresh fruit mouth.

I run my forefinger
round your dewdrop face, drawing
the world in invisible paint, plain
only to you and me:
you are the world
for which clay was divine mud.

One moment of looking into the depth
of each other’s eyes
till you awoke to the truth
and you quaked, What do you want?
Oh, you knew the answer
but I said, You! Bone, blood and breath!

The earth you walked to me
is the pineapple’s thornbush
and I exalt in its cuts and bruises,
it led your feet to my ashhouse
where your lips parted
and blew alive
virgin coals needing the taste of fire.

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