THERE ARE NO YAMS TO STUFF DOWN THROATS
We are bodies of voices
A tree of flower dipped
in honey finds root in our throats
We open our mouths and
Bird songs sprinkled with honey flow out
At times the bees come with the bird songs
I walk on the beach and stare at the blue of the ocean
I see the waves rocking the shore like two lovers in bed
You can’t silence the roar of the ocean
When the thunder rumbles in the belly of the sky
you do not pray silence into it.
You run into your skin and place your ears under your feet
Tell me, if you take a walk in the forest
and you hear the sound of the birds singing under the droplets of rain
Do you ask them to keep quiet?
Or do you stuff yam cubes down their throats
I tell you, they’ll speak early this time
How do you kill a man?
You rip his throat out so he cannot scream.
This is how we die.
We lose our voices, then our lives bleed
out through the open space in our throats
Voice is a gift not meant to be stuffed
into a box and placed under the tree
where no one would ever bother to check
I pray life into the wings of my voice and
will it to sing blessings over me.
This time it will fly and place gifts
at the fireplace of hearts
ETHAN ZACHARY is a Nigerian, currently in his finals at college. He loves the smell of books and ink and currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria.