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If Wishes Were a Sound Burial

By Kwaku Darko-Mensah Jnr.

The sunbaked plot behind our house is spotted with hawkers.

They wail about tiger nuts and corn liquor.
Their voices rival the ivory horns we know
From the courts of kings.

I am caught in the delicate act of restraining
Home in clasped hands
Held to the ear, listening for a way back.

I’ve made a place for myself
Solid as land and bread.
This is the house, it does what I need.

Flesh of my flesh how short-lived a sound;

When bone fragments poke out of teak branches
And flame trees run out of flowers for the drowned,
You remain as you are, a perfect echo.