One Life

by Nkosi Nkululeko

—A Crown of Monometer Sonnets

 

1.

—I flew /through fields /with dewed /air peel/ing

be/tween space /and sea, /retrac/ing

my /childhood /where I /watched good

                                                                             /memor/ies hoard—

2.

—Hordes of /feathers /weathered /above

/our blood-/stained earth /and churched /the blood

/to teach /us how /to grow

/while bleed/ing          thous/and-fold—

 

3.

—Days fold /in my /enclose/ures— my

/brief si/lence that /reminds /me that

/I’ll die /alone  /or die /while lone/ly

or die               /alive—

 

4.

—To live /is im/possi/ble

in /one life,      /those ten/der

nights /are count/less lives

/we count /like stars,   /recount/ing

mar/vels: ours—

 

5.

—Our mar/vels are /our in/ventions,

   /turning /us to /ghosts,

like /wings and /wars

and /windows

/through which            /we flew—