Read Time:1 Minute, 36 Second [The Absent Presence]
I have seen her once, at the feast of hearts;
Her skin silky pale, honestly indescribable
surely not of this world,
even light feared catching her full frame.
Men would awe at her inglorious glamour
and women watch for the ineluctable eventuality
of losing their man to a greater emptiness,
the very beauty called horror.

I have heard wise men say
she is herself an acquaintance to the dagger at heart.
The story goes that the man she would live* for had taken her totality
and across a brick wall turned it to pulp.
She danced the dance, magnificent moves never before seen
The melody of her tune is louder than sound,
it is a cryptic silence, deafening silence.

At her moment, time does not only stand still, it ends.
Her presence at the greatest, distasteful and senseless acts of war men fight
is greater than that of the beastly crows that upon flesh thrive.
She is without taste, her romance is with any man*.
No one is ever too young for her shameless claws to beguile.

Oche* had had her banished from the kingdom,
her shameless escapades with his father
and his father before him had begotten the love child
Sorrow – the brute who looms about, a madman on the loose.

Little though does Oche* know;
Every man must have her cross his path
and when they fall for her she shall be the ‘death‘ of them
For no man*, has it ever been heard,
conjured up enough power to escape death.

*Oche – the traditional ruler of the Idoma tribe of central Nigeria
*Man – meaning men, women and children
*Live – a paradox of death living for somebody

Written by: Ernest Ogezi
Edited by: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

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