Say All the Things

Say, I take you out to brunch at noon.
Say, I like to eat alone before my anxiety revs up like an engine.
Say, the cat naps in my trench coat, in the weather, everywhere.
Say, we are having Jollof rice and Bordeaux.
Say, the man has a crush on me; I lose in the way he chatters.
Say, I’m hungry, yet miserable about my dying Retriever.
Say, what a rare name for a dog!
Say, she bested her Ma in turning the best blue.
Say, the morgue hesitates to let the morticians,
under the pelting sky, waltz to a stony beat.
Say, the john isn’t clogged with gravels.
Say, we live in the house across the old church.
Say, our lives are rocky terrain, surviving bitterness in tongues.
Say, there’s nothing but an almond, arch of yellow eyes staring back at us.
Say, there’s a Black preacher, with a tote bag
embroidered with Christ’s face,
saying he once loved a man but seeks the Lord.

Onyedikachi Chinedu is the author of Glistening Green (Ghost City Press, 2021). They are a 2021 HUES Foundation scholar and their works are published and forthcoming in Dreich, The Hellebore, Rappahannock Review, Cultural Weekly, Madness Muse Press, Stone of Madness Press, Lucky Pierre, and elsewhere. They read for Non.Plus Lit and tweet at @onyedikachined.