My Lover, and Other Summer Relics

Two poems by Kechi Nomu

couple walking on beach

My Lover, and Other Summer Relics

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Pre-Loved Bodies

Strange how much we find later.
Inside a dying river,

Good visibility.
The loss of silence we fear. And this:
Relics from June: I count in this pastoral the carcass of an orange,
An antropolise with its miniature chateaux

& water lilies overgrown;
Frail forts sprouting in the wild around us.

Even now I think of you as gentle
with some other lover —

How much walks out of a person through doors?
How much leaves
Through windows, the swell of incandescence

*

Or smoke, inverse river moving with the tenderness
Of people pedaling farm bicycles late evening
Piled high with woods for home fires.
This procession, instead of gospel
Slow as I want it to be.

The air smells like a thing in search of home
I suppose you could think of it this way
Pre-loved bodies touched by rain breeze.

And to sit in sunlight tender at this angle
Passing through a tree — a way to make myself penetrable
By things falling from the sky flapping against gravity.


Saunas for Our Lifelong Displacements

Here, I am made human by silence,
rationed food and walking.
I stand by doors, afraid to approach mirrors.
Any closer, it’ll show the shape of
the years.
Each life we have lived re-imaged

In soot, spiders write their web histories
Across a silence so infinite it makes parliament
between birdsong, cricket,
A decade's forest with its animals.
And the dead (un)accounted for.

These days, I only think of people as mountains.
Not for praying on summits
where sun beaten rocks warm our feet,
Saunas for our lifelong displacements.
But for making slow ascents.

I am pacified by strange signs of gardening
Emergent along our roads. Some days, the begonias float
Vivid with each daydream.
Behind us, the moon's appearance is perfect, final.
As if we'd imagined each crescent phase.
As if this is the only shape we’ll ever know.

As if we’d want to joke about this.
And the black gothics of our nail polish.
And a colour like gun-mental. Said again and again

Because more than blood this poem too can be a love note
Said in the presence of our decaying.

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