Poetry: Song by Ernest Ògúnyẹmí

In “song,” the speaker examines, through a vibrant musicality, the most profound and enigmatic moments in life, ultimately settling for and preferring to be “damned to beauty.”



& what did we become
by all our cunning, all our
running, all our turning &
turning & turning
on the devil’s stage, ribs
of the broken cage
between our dancing
feet, our hands
swinging like trembling notes,
o, what did we become—bush
behind the house
burning, arrow
in the quiver, bow
restless, cold
cashew, bright
pink cuts in the body,
in cursive, as in
I am doomed to daiseys,
I am doomed to joy, I am
doomed to love
—o what is the day
grey cloak, green
clock, sick
sprinkle, alliterations,
desire & damnation Wilde wrote
there is a very thin line, it even
fades in the light—o, beloved,
let us be the ones damned
to beauty.


Ernest Ògúnyẹmí

Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí is a writer, literary journalist, and editor from Nigeria. His work has appeared/ is forthcoming in AGNI, Southern Humanities Review, Cincinnati Review, Joyland, Tinderbox, the minnesota review, SAND, Poetry Online, Sierra Nevada Review, Down River Road, the Maine Review, No Tokens, the West Review, the Dark, 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry III, Mud Season Review, Agbowó, FIYAH, West Trade Review, Mooncalves: An Anthology of Weird Fiction, and elsewhere. He is a staff writer at Open Country Mag.

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