Ritual for Crossover Night
Hold the scripture in your hand. Open––open to wherever says
happy is [ ]. Insert your name. There’s nothing wrong
to be present in the book of life. Sanctify the season of grief
into the lake of fire. Bless the night breeze with its ash.
Its remnant in your hand looks like salt––how is it that
it didn’t spoon you with sweetness? Look––time has ripened.
After this ritual, this thief of joy you’ll not see again.
I speak in the voice that’s not mine: this night,
only you shall cross over to the land I am giving you.
Tent metaphors from the grave that is disgorging you into life.
Say, there’s no enjambment in this kind of poetry.
Say, it is titled after your auld lang syne in which you drown.
Hereafter, imagine that you are the temple of the Supreme.
His throne sitting inside you with the hallows of hosanna,
angelic voices cutting deep into the flesh of your demons
beyond the magnificence of machete. Give yourself up for the song.
& confess your grief to the empty grave. As you sand fill it,
a chapter closes, every opening that doesn’t hold your smile shuts.
Blessing Omeiza Ojo is a Nigerian poet, creative writing instructor, author of several books, the most recent Not Ready To Lose You (DuduTome Press 2022). He is a proud member of Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation. You can find his works on Cọ́n-scìò, the Deadlands, Split Lip, Wax Poetry & Art, Salamander Ink, Afrihill, Artnews, Artslounge, Icreatives, Words Rhyme & Rhythm, Parousia, Olney, Trampoline and elsewhere. Omeiza is the mentor behind the birth of several teenage poets, authors and slam champs. His works have been translated into several languages including Yoruba, French and Italian. His poetry has received nominations for Best of the Net, Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize, Creators of Justice Awards, Castello di Duino International Poetry and Theatre Competition, Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest and the Korea-Nigeria Poetry Prize.