Measurable Weight

In your hand, Baha, your father stands
watching the world. Each cock crows the path
until it blossoms. I think of the unwanted roses
living alone in grandmother's backyard. A river
roots a flower, a cave cradles a sacred place—
bares a cider orchard, flower spots—
When she named your brother heaven's flower,
and you the river of the world, spouting water
around the household, all season long,
your mother trying to weave things
into a skylight—Your colour, tranquil
in my eyes like seabirds— all the things brooch
into a depiction on the wall of remembrance.
I know you are different from other children.
In your palm the contrived air of the house,
deep silence and calm—your voice inside the walls,
echoing, echoing through every corridor still—
I feel if I had been home with you,
you would still be here. Believe me,
I haven't mentioned any of this in my prayers,
but the recesses between my words—
I keep your memories buried in my vacant spaces,
even if they harm my body—
You have my permission to follow
your differences— a throb, a flute, measurable
sound that flies high to where there is no sky
and what my eyes can cull from this deep ravine.   

Saddiq Dzukogi is the author of Inside the Flower Room, a selection of the African Poetry Book Fund for its New Generation African Poets Chapbook series. His poems are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, DIAGRAM, Spillway, African American Review, and elsewhere. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761