A Template for Detoxification and other Poems: by Nanya Kooper

A Template for Detoxification 

Wake up. Or don’t. If dreaming is what you need, please see to it that it is done. If reality is where you want to be, see to it that you are awake. Let your feet touch the cold floor. A second sign you are alive. Sing a song when you are in the shower. If it is a song you shared with them, spit it out. Let it circle the drain and drown. Hold the door or wall when you step out of the tub. At that moment your heart weighs a ton and your body will fail to carry it. Make breakfast. Cut watermelons in shapes you desire. Appreciate the water it holds. Thank God for the first time in a while without deliberating if your thanksgiving belongs to a man or a woman. Listen to podcasts. Do your favourite things. Do not hate yourself because you stopped doing those when you were with them. Please. You are trying to heal. Find solace in the little things: an overjoyed baby. The scent of grass when she makes love with the rain. Pups running circles around their mother. Sudden laughter of strangers. On strangers: if you find one with who you want to share a moment, please do so. When they traverse your insides, try not to say the name of the one(s) who hurt you. You will cry and there will be a pain. If this stranger lacks empathy and sees you crying, they will be terrified. They will stop. They will leave you to spew out this darkness that lays within. Bit by bit. One tear after another. Avoid the places you shared with them. For memory will not be kind to you. Search for new places. When you find them, mark your territory. Pee if you must. Like a lion sprays the bushes. Let this pee bring you satisfaction. If it does not, drink a bottle of water. Or vodka. Wait for your bladder. Do it all over again until the satisfaction fills your belly. I will not lie to you. You will miss them. Their touch. Their smell. The sound of their voice when they called your name like there was none compared to it, not even theirs. You will pick up the phone. And make that call. You will ask questions like, was I ever enough? Or why did you leave? If you are given an answer, take it. If you are not, take it anyway. You don’t want to linger in this space for too long. You will end the call to enjoy the silence of your still-developing wholeness. When you are healed, when you have forgiven them for ruining you, the light will have a new meaning. Do not close your curtains on days the sun shines brightest. Find love in unfamiliar places. Your body will thank you. Your body will love you. You will dance in the rain and it will be electric. You will press your nose against clean clothes. You will feel the essence of heaven. It will make you forget you were dead many moons ago. Such is the temperament of your sorrow. You will have no use for this template once you agree you are whole. Its efficiency depends on your truth. 

2. Timelines

Gentle morning

a little kind pebble dreams

to be soft like water

cherry afternoon

a holy pubescent calf cries

as the lion eats his mother

blackening night

a lost boy is

no one’s to claim

leafless winter

a solitary lover lusts

for another’s betrothed

some things are just not meant to be.

3. It Is Difficult To Talk About Your Absence The Way I Want To Talk About It

In the end

There was death.

Death said let there be more death

And the words came to fruition.

The people torched themselves

In endless anguish with questions, ceaseless like black rain.

And those who had lovers

Were left with sand in their hands

And those who had children

Now held unto bones to serve as memories

The tears seeped down their faces and made contact with the bones

They cried;

‘Abba father! where are thy miracle-working hands?!’

The mouth of the defeated sang

Ballads into the night

In hopes that peace (non-existing) would listen and return.

When the songs were too heavy to render

They got on their knees to lick the toes of death – 

mouths full of incessant supplications. 

They yearned for peace to soothe their restless souls.

Peace to set light in the darkest of places

Peace to be an extension of God’s fruit

Peace to cure the fear which comes with healing

Peace to dwell in the home of the forgotten – like the modern leper

Peace to the innocent, the kind and the just

Peace to give closure and cement the existence of heaven

Peace to plead with fire who would plead with death

Maybe enough was enough.

But the ballads kept going on and on and on

Which only left death feeling wrathful

So she birthed more death.

I am in the bathroom humming the chords

Of  This is The Kit’s Bulletproof.

I remember your name

The same one i was shamelessly trying to forget

Like the face of my father.

And because i am terrible with tears

I feel a pain so atrocious my ankles bleed

I do not know how to walk again.

I sit down for a moment and debate with God.

I ask if your leaving was necessary

I am still waiting for an answer.

I hope to get one so i can give your mother

I hope to get one so i can give it to your sisters.

I hope to get one so i can give your lovers

I hope to get one so i can give it my heart.

There has to be a stop to these bits and pieces:

My internal weeping

Nocturnal sorrow

Bleeding ankles….

When the memory of you floods in

I hope they come with peace.

Short Bio: Nanya Kooper is a poet and a product individual. His works have appeared in Kalahari Review, Green Black Tales, Nanty Greens and others. He currently lives in Lagos and tweets via @thegodkooper, enjoys indie music and daydreams about Liverpool in his spare time.

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