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Grey Boy, Sing

     Flourish Joshua

Grey boy,

mouth your melody,

              break the cloud loose

from its night.


Let the crows pitch your notes—

high, above the heavens.


Open your mouth,

        unbraid the lodging clefs to wing

home your diadem.


Give the world a vibrato to tend

        into a miracle, tuck your harmony

into the ribcage of      the universe.


S-i-n-g, I say. S-i-n-n-n-n-g—

       your world is waiting

clouds are gathering, audience longing,

      a billion ears itch for your song.


Dislodge your echo into the pocket

of the rainbow,

punctuate the galaxy

          with the waves of your lyrics.


There, ants gather to lick your song,

pigeons coo an interlude

for the blue of your majestic solo.


Every creeping thing hungers for your clefs.


Sing, brother—the spotlight is awake,

the world,   your stage,

every creeping thing,   your audience.

Flourish Joshua is a Nigerian poet, and a member of the Frontiers Collective. He is the winner of the 2021 Salt Nation Poetry Prize, the 2021 Young Writers and Creatives' Award (Poetry Category) and finalist of the 2021 NO CONTACT Poetry Prize, and the 2022 Villena-Aldama Poetry Prize. He is Founding / Poetry Editor of Olúmọ Review, and a Best of the Net nominee. His works have appeared—or are forthcoming—in Palette Poetry, Poetry Sango-ota, the Shore Poetry, Indianapolis Review, miniskirt magazine, Olongo Africa, Blue Marble Review, Agbowó, Poetry Column-NND, Five South Journal, East French Press, Isele Magazine, Magma Poetry, Pepper Coast Lit, Lumiere Review, and elsewhere.

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