Never once thinking I’d be the sort to go
Half on a life-long voyage on the whole,
Romance seemed to me a shadow of cirrus at sunset,
All the rest of my occupations waxing red;
What a shock, then when I called your eye to duel
Discovering quickly the fight was under fate’s fix.
Licking the swift-sweet gum of my qualms to affix
Your seal on a conjunction packaged to go,
You chivvied me express post on to the dual
Carriageway, marked by zip lane and pothole —
Rally car course of gemini, or for the overly well read,
Strophe and antistrophe arrayed across agora set.
Earth and sky, out of whose union came Set
Are eternally foreign, but bound by mutual fix
Of the rainbow’s compass, violet to red,
We’re the same, you and I, drugged by vertigo
To swallow the berserker whirlwind whole
And flail at what’s left of Osiris from our duel.
Hathor, having written me off as a ne’er-do-well,
One from her cherished poet and musician set,
On whom she longed to bet, but tired of landing in the hole,
Found herself that rare punt she could fix
To yield perfume and ingots at every go,
The rare hole card that crowned the hand she read;
What’s more, four times we’ve summoned her by red
Ankh siren to come play your divine doula
(By modern standards, that’s offspring agogo)
You’ve matured me into a trump asset
In the portfolio of a goddess who traffics
Only in value fragments, craving that elusive whole.
I never saw it coming this journey through wormhole
To a parallel universe of which I’d only read.
I can’t get home again; it would seem a proper fix
Before hearing the harmony of one life and its dual,
Two pendulum feet merged at the clock’s nerve, set
As stiff twin compasses, steady as we go.
Ra, I pray you, do not fix what’s found its unfated whole
Even if that means letting go, leaving the charts unread,
Of space unsplit by this duality, your own disc unrisen, and unset.
[Uche Ogbuji (@uogbuji) was born in Calabar, Nigeria. He lived, among other places, in Egypt and England before settling near Boulder, Colorado. A computer engineer and entrepreneur by trade, his collection of poetry, Ndewo, Colorado was published by Aldrich press in 2013. His poems, fusing Igbo culture, European Classicism, U.S. Mountain West setting, and Hip-Hop influences, have appeared worldwide, most recently in String Poet, Featherlit, Qarrtsiluni, Leveler, Atavic, Shot Glass and Stonecoast Review. He is editor at Kin Poetry Journal and The Nervous breakdown, founder and curator at the @ColoradoPoetry Twitter project. He is also a founding member of the Stanza Massive, a small, DIY-minded group promoting members’ books of poetry, including through collaborative, multimedia experiments with their texts.]