My prayer…

for, and inspired by a poem from, j.lewis

I am writing a prayer
on an orange paper
but it won’t carry God’s weight
nor a holyghost-istic caffeine
It’ll just fall on your veins

& find its way to windows
& holes
& small music boxes
that know how to break
on your feet

I am writing a prayer
whose amen knows how
to carry a sky or a tsunami or
break bubbles and palm kernels
on an African skin

it’ll have a name
the kind you pluck
from an ebony shrine or wood
or from grandfather’s head
he had all his prayers

tied to his grey hair
my prayer would have to be
in a foil
angels must not know its colour
or know they smell of Shammah

the girl who walks with lavender
promising herself not to die
each time her song
forgets to crush God’s finger
I would want to carry my prayer

on mother’s back
& tie a wrapper to it
it is too young to walk
on your tongue
or carry vowels with its weight

my prayers aren’t cheap
they wear a currency
I want to write a prayer
but the first word is
your sin


Victor Ugwu writes from Minna, Nigeria where he’s a member of the Hill-top art foundation Minna. He is also a photography enthusiast. His works have appeared here and elsewhere…

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