Companion

by Nathaniel Okolo

When confusion is my companion
and despair holds me for ransom
your forgiveness is my fortress
literally, it is my hiding place
it is where I run to when guilt brings paralysis,
and the past dredges up shame
I flee to the post on which was nailed,
your body, and my sins

My mind does not think what I want it to
the voices in my head do not please me
the label on my mind reads;
defective, return to Maker.
I have been searching for peace for a long time
like Zacchaeus I have climbed so many sycamore trees
hoping that my maker would notice me
I now stand resigned to being ignored
till I repose in a grave of silence,
would that prove God unfair?

Commandments, Instructions, Follow
those words overwhelm my soul with dread
do they come from God or my mind
or has my mind become my god?
So much fear, it is almost laughable
that one mind hasn’t caved under so much darkness

Jesus makes the darkness tremble
does that mean I am darkness?
for I have not ceased to tremble
since the day that I cannot remember
perhaps I am just hungry; hypovolaemic
I am afraid of being alone
for I fear what my mind will ask me to do next

So many doctrines swimming in my head
Festus was right
“too much of learning doth make you mad”
I run to sleep, hoping to find rest,
Alas! The torments await me there
who will free me from this flesh of corruption
o wretched man that I am

When confusion is my companion
and despair holds me for ransom
your forgiveness is my fortress
literally, it is my hiding place
it is where I run to when guilt brings paralysis,
and the past dredges up shame
I flee to the post on which it was nailed,
your body, and my sins

Nathaniel Okolo is a poet, writer (with a focus on short stories and micro-fiction), an editor, and a medical student. He currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria. His work has appeared in literary magazines like Literary Yard and Qwenu among others.

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