The Painting

Chika Onyanezi

Nigeria

All these for my lover:
A rocket science
Telescopes
A map of Jupiter
And a lantern —
Burning from the lips

I love you and you know it 

A man soaring with time
On his waist
Swirling, dancing
Dangling from sky to sky
Jerking off
Thousands of feet above
Playing a dangerous game called: who cares?
And smoking thick clouds —
With rusted lungs

I know you’ve heard this story before 

It’s a painting
I bought for you
Which you never saw
Nor cared to see.
I will tell you what it is:
Yellow birds
Yellow cage
A black earth
A turning wind.
I wish you saw them.
I wish I gave them to you.

Chika Onyenezi’s work has been published in The Bombay Review, Litro Magazine, and Synchronized Chaos, among others. Follow him on Twitter.