The Wholeness of Broken Things

This debris catches the afternoon sun,
cleft rainbows stitching the air with
a montage of violence redeemed.
We built our castle not out of forgetting,
but from the thresholds
of what we can’t erase.
The battlements, the drawbridge,
precarious over a moat of memory,
always opalescent,
always a hair’s breadth from shattering.

Is this resilience,
or a morbid fascination with the scars?
A child cradled by broken glass,
lulled by the wind whistling
through its fractured concerto.
We are not unbroken,
that much is clear.
But in the cracks,
our light finds purchase,
determined to rise from the wreckage.

They say time heals all wounds.
We scoff. Time rearranges the furniture,
pushes the debris to the corners,
but the floorboards still groan
with the weight of what happened.
And perhaps this is the new strength,
not the absence of scars,
but the way they refract the light.
We are a medley
of what has broken us,
each piece a facet
catching a different glint of the sun.
We are not whole, but we are whole enough.

And at night, when the moon
flows through the smashed panes,
we hear not shattering,
but a song both mournful and hopeful,
sung in the language of broken glass.

What Hungers Do We Shed?

First, there was this green hunger,
a slow scratch against leaf skin.
I watched it inch across the rosebush,
leaving behind a glistening trail.

It wasn't beauty, but an urgent,
focused kind of consumption.
Every day, a little thicker, a little wider.
It built itself a prison, a silken shroud spun
in the crook of a thorny branch.

For weeks, it was nothing
but a suspended knot,
a question mark dangling in the breeze.
Then, silence.
No rustle, no green pulse against the web.
I almost forgot about it,
about that single-minded hunger.

But then a split, a tear in the silk,
and out crawled something tentative,
something with wings the colour of bruised fruit.
It clung to the empty chrysalis,
testing its new legs,
its new ability to rise.
It pumped its wings, hesitant at first,
then with increasing urgency.

And then, it lifted,
and for a moment, it hung suspended,
wobbling, unsure. But then,
it caught a current, a breath of wind,
and it was gone.

I don't know where it went,
this thing that used to be a relentless green hunger.
Maybe to the hibiscus bush by the fence,
maybe high above the rooftops where the hawks circle.
All I know is that it left behind an empty shell
and a question:
what hungers do we shed, what wings do we take flight with?

Nwodo Divine

Nwodo Divine is a Nigerian writer, researcher, and teacher. His works have appeared in Akpata Magazine, Poetry column, and a host of others. He tweets @chukwudivine_

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