en italiano’ 1983
(The poet asks Basquiat about Sangre as he brushes his teeth)
Let us begin with a crown of thorns.
Why say anything about death its
gravity its grace? My memory has been
gathering thoughts like cargo; my favourites
are the ones in which I have a broken wing
and they mistook me for a bat looking to
the sky beyond. I digress. I dare you to disturb
Become the TV’s flicker, a song
as it fades in and out, a commercial break
or that phone blinking on a shelf. There is music
in this. I am wearing a long grey coat against which
I feel the sun sinking, against which the earth
like me is spinning. I took that nameless road
to touch the dust in the world and place my face
into the silence. The way Camus knew that love
is best with silence. There it is, along the corners,
it splits the city along its seam.
NICK MAKOHA is the founder of The Obsidian Foundation. Winner of the 2021 Ivan Juritz prize and the Poetry London Prize. In 2017, Nick’s debut collection, Kingdom of Gravity, was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and was one of The Guardian’s best books of the year.