“Aubade in the Boneyard” by Jonathan Endurance

Jonathan Endurance


my father died bending like a dog
under the November cloud

unlike the stories we were told
about grief as a revolution inside

a tender throat     i grew up to learn
that even God has a thousand titles 

to his name & we only use the one
synonymous with grief when our

mouths are full of stories of guillotine
i have stories about ghost saved up

in my diary     this time no deception 
my mother never wanted me to know

i was born inside an eagle’s claws
i am saying every letter of my name 

has a sharp edge & blood gushes from
everything i touch 

i open my window into a field of dust 
the sun chokes on my shoulder blade

i invade the boneyard with holy books
& line the belly button of my father’s grave

with broken branches of cedars 
he smells like a lit cigarette 

there is always violence inside a crow’s beak
& for a body like this to inherit scars

that never heal     the sky falls back into
my mouth anchored by the stories that beguile me 

from Rattle #65, Fall 2019
Tribute to African Poets


Jonathan Endurance: “I am a Nigerian poet and student of English literature in the University of Benin, Nigeria. For me, poetry has been a way of escaping emotional trauma. I write to set my soul free from the cage of bitter thoughts and sad experiences.” (web)

Rattle Logo