width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses



Rosemary Esehagu

The Game of Hearts

I left the door open, just in case memory becomes a broken phonograph that skips to only the sweet melodies, to the parts we would like to fast forward to anyway. Like that day when we gazed, awestruck, at the Meteor Crater left by a meteorite. You whispered to me, slowly and as if out of breath, as you bit my ear and drew tiny butterflies on my stomach, “you know, you are like a lightning storm, raging for no reason, UNapologetic for all the MESS— not even about the disheveled streets transformed from celebrity place to junkyard, nor about the immodest trees now baring their pale yellow roots to the sky— yet (you turned me around to look at my blushed cheeks and widened eyes), still so MAGnetic.” In that moment, I saw you for the first time, because you saw me, captured me in my flighty shadow. Your words then proved you as the lover you claimed to be, for you transformed me. I became the meteorite, overwhelming whatever I touched, leaving this spectacle—this crater— to astonish, to remember myself. But I didn’t get it then; I confused the force in your hands, as they walked over my body, for shiatsu. I was drunk on your thought about my power, power I could never ascribe to my being, since I knew it only through my hunger for it, not through possession. I didn’t see the drought your words predicted for your tear bags, or the days the light struck your heart, splitting and uprooting its core, then laying it unfeelingly next to my shih tsu’s poop. But I can be the rain. Let me wash away all that mess. I can cool that hell in your eyes, that burn in your tears as they fall on my lips... I left the door open, just in case forgiveness becomes a phoenix that sees beyond breakdown and into a new creation, a new world with trees standing erect and modestly, gesticulating to the heavens with their branches, which have fresh hearts available for harvesting. I left the door open, even as I consider the possibility that I might see my shadow seated on the bench and mightily weary of reattaching each fallen bone back to its place. Yes, I am drunk on me, but I exist richly only in your eyes.

© 2007 Rosemary Esehagu

About the Poet:

Rosemary Esehagu:   is a Nigerian writer. She is the author of The Looming Fog, which was published by Oge Creations Books. Her other writings have appeared in The Argotist Online, All Things Girl, and MIMI Magazine. In her spare time, she likes to explore people’s minds.