The Moonlit Trench

Issue 10 | Summer 2023 |



we saw the dark moon rise, and hid
behind the deep trench, me and the people

I call my own. we know there is dirt, but
there is also grit; a brother stirring a bowl

of soaked garri so it isn’t overrun by dryness,
& passing around after lifting a spoon

of unsugared sustenance
passing around also a joke because humor is a sweetener

& the laughter we share even with the ones
whose voices have been extirpated

is eternal. I promise
there are many ways to honor the dead,

silence is not one of them:
when a sweet mother falls to this bitter gravity

that is my country, I swear
it is not the silence of her precious child

that she wants to hear, but their cackle & cheer.
& our women & men who wielded flaming flags

of freedom & fell to the gravity of gunfire?
it is also not our silence that will honor them

but our noise, our chorus of defiance,
our chantmanship, our campfire music,

our feet beating the earth in glorious dance,
our rigorous un-silence.

for this dark moon too shall pass,
into phases, and when it wanes we will not forget

the mercy of the trenches that saved us;
we will not forget the mercy of unsugared garri.