Once. I thought I saw a white shadow swimming
The water: I dropped my body, ruining the mirror.
What I saw was the white linen of a drunk, reeling
Beneath the water in the bright light of the moon.
Anxiety pulls the jug out of your bone and kneads it
For nothing. But the hour in which I sleep is
Music, upright music. The rhythm of the life
Of the body, the glued pages of the Book of Not—
If you happen to hear a tune, it is the life you will
Have, beckoning; the livid ghosts are gone, swallowed
By rust. An angel comes at the hour to swirl the
Water. The water then shimmers like a dream.
The riddle of the moth, inside the purple lamp
Glowing yellow flame, is being recited. And when you
Turn around, turn to look back at what resisted
Belonging, that which said No to truth, there will be
Nothing but a triangle of ash. Inside which little gold
Ants are meandering. These notes, these notes
I thought I lost. Do you want—I want nothing more
Than to be free of myself, Lord. Baskets of grace. Cups
Of solace. Room packed with astonishment. I want
Nothing but to be unfamiliar with the linings
Of Your bones, the walls of Your house. The resuscitated
Sparrows rise now into the morning. The beautiful,
Flour-gloved hand of the young woman that rests
Like a need on the window. Quiet song of praise.

Ernest Ogunyemi