Tuesday Poem by Roland Nduka Akpe

What a Lichen

Like lichen I likened what you meant to me
to commensal affections
Passive symbiosis of resigned companions
who could live without each other
but would rather not

The cardinal rule in what we had
was an insistent middle finger
given to everything, anyone
who sought to teach us
that this utter reliance on the other
was toxic
We suspect it is
Do not confirm our fears
Do not speak it in spray of spittle
spritzing out your wise wise mouth,
Here’s a middle finger for your trouble –
Up yours.
Up north.

We are ended now
and this is what I liken it to:
The convenient end to Double Indemnity – a dark screen
and words;
A sack letter
plastered in words coated in more
words not meant, peppered in pretence of mint;
It is the beginning of morning
at a household with the breadwinner gone, dead at dawn,
is it still