Monologue Inside a Room That Isn’t a Room

Nome Emeka Patrick

Forgive me, Lord, vagrant always in my own sinful science.

I was an ellipsis, black & bare, but now I am a bold asterisk.

Animal me, I antelope through the forest of my own fears,

every tree an ache thrilled by a vigil of disasters & dystopias.

I wanted to build an ark where all things come to repose,

even this black owl nestled behind my heart, its dark wings

grazing against each arrhythmia. I will not mourn here to-

night where this darkness has a cat’s eye, where my shadow

betrays me. There’s always a thirst in the river’s throat, but

how'd i know, the canoe of me upturned — a wet disaster.

Mortal me a metaphor: I escaped every death with a new

sobriquet for life. Unlike visions, in dreams I am this closer

to death — a field fled towards a furnace. Verb me a verb:

Survive. Surrender. Succeed. Sanctify. Surmount. Save. Slit.

Seen. I drove this far into life dreaming the lives of doves,

O, the table-wide wings of freedom. Tbh, I ate my own fear

& woke up a wanting. They say the day unfurls the best of us

— they fail to see the ashes sprouting inside our footprints.

I imagine loss is so wide & wild, even the sky sometimes

takes the structure of a shapeless coffin. It’s not too late, dear,

to heal anyone — but even these scars sometimes are a defense.

I’m kneeling inside myself — a museum modeled after a plea;

when the light comes, may it find me hungry — a lone heart.


about the author