PERENNIAL, Fisayo Adeyeye

blckfsh / bird enthusiast / benign boy / fisayo adeyeye has works published in boston accent / souvenir lit journal the birds we piled loosely / and he is the author of cradles (nomadic press)


Perennial

I.

Who will mourn hymn?
The body, the last note sung
or sewn against the night.
Mouth spreading

a heat which keeps us
folded together,
                two halves
of the same bell.
Where each feather rests,
is an ache. But moving above me
        his shadow waits ready

                to sing. Ready
        to sing a darkness
into this night.

II.

Into this night—
I flowered. Beyond

me a shade that waited
to tug sleeves of muscle
from my arms
        in embrace.

Autumnal,                         a loss
which burned through my veins.

Winter, which named the witness
witness.                 Which named

the night the night.
Sweetened shade of ochre.
                The light—

nipping gently.

III.

Nipping gently,
these strings. The body

strummed, saddle and bridge.
Skein wrapped tightly.
                The song has pitch
      and so plummets— deepens.
The sound like a sail

unfurling from the throat.
        What empties hymn here?
      The waxing moon spun
from the same loom,
a dismantled thing. Wings

laced to his back,         boy
laid down. Body inescapable.

IV.

Inescapable, the body.
The mottled wreck,
my black boy—       my god.

My name in the mouth
                of monsters.
What serenades this skin
knows serration. So I learned
this grief early. But still,

to tell a difference
                anything
other than this: one body
to blade against

the next. How when I sing,
                    you sing.

V.

You sing.
And it sounds
some chorus resolving.
The boy greased. Hymn
            with a throat licked

clean— blade caught,
the distance between
an eyelash. I try not to see,
but part ghost,

            I am veiled against
my own hands. Torn lace,
semi-lit. Through the

thicket— the body,
paper light.

VI.

Paper light, the hue
of hymn held solid
against night. Keel-pressed,
my mouth hums over

                    and I tilt—
would I ever let go
this body and its dreams?
And what could have been

wished for, and what would
have been hoped,
had the hoping lasted?
Had body

            not revved
past its sanction?

VII.

Past its sanction — the body,
            in that wherever
            it was to go

                    it always went.
            Dark to throw its shade,
dark to falter. Slack-jawed
against me.

How once again, we have
been made witness.

Here:             the horror
of the dream unraveling.
Here:             the boy.

                And those
who will mourn hymn.