Semblance, by Olaitan Humble

in the beginning, everything shape-shifts into grace,
           into harmony. all the prayers made on my body
became roses sprouting on my fingertips, on my palms.

           you see, my twin told this story first. before everything
transformed into doom—but in this poem, there is no grief
           at all, just an illusion of grievances. sometimes, i wonder

what becomes of a mind confusing light for fire. so i
           let bliss incandescent this tunnel. for how do i navigate
the labyrinth of the night without my pair, without a torch

           of light leading the way in stark darkness. once, i caught
a sight of the moon & it sank into my eyes. once, my heart
           happy as a box of birds, sheen like the moon at evenfall

& donned in a toga of grace. once, my heart adorned
           with prismatic colors by steady sun-showers. once, my
heart revelled like ants in sugary particles. once, there was

           only bliss & liss. together, we were midas. everything
we touched became gold. now we watch him nightly
           ascend into the skies like angels most revered. now we

grow an assortment of tingles in our belly. now we worship,
           thinking angels are stars carefully sprinkled atop the clouds.
we watch them transform into canvasses & constellations.

           we watch mountains transform into wool & into pullovers. till
the sky splits open then becomes murky oil. till the sun folds
           into an envelope of thick darkness. till stargazers patronize

the morning star for longevity. tourniquets & rosaries & for
           everything love brings, we raise our voices so high in takbir,
for prosperity. & for everyone death takes, we are both reminded

of the end but every end is a reversed beginning—inna-l-hamda lillahi


Olaitan Humble is a writer and editor. He has been nominated for the Rhysling Award, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award.

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