Nurain Oladeji

A Bowl of Moonlight

I awake a stranger to your silence.
I am laying on my side, gazing out through
our upstairs bedroom window. It is a half-moon

tonight, a bowl of half-light sitting
on the night sky, a serving of light.
Milk-white light that fills our room

as mourners had filled the living room. I turn
on my side and the moon, through the perfect
rectangle of our window that cuts my shadow off

at the chest, has set me up for a picture
on the wall. I want to remember this,
like a personal message from God, saying

I cannot be there with you but I have not left you
all by yourself. I want to remember this silence
and this room and this moon and this wall and this

fresh wakefulness. I turn back and the moon
is still there, only it has taken steps back.
I think nothing of this. I am too un-alone to think

anything of it. I have feasted to my fill and did not
notice the bowl was emptying. The half-light
is unstill rising or dropping. I turn to the wall again

and my picture is dissolving, my shadow smudging
like our home now. I do not return my gaze to the window.
I know the table has been cleared. The moon, like you,

has shrouded itself in clouds, like the last of mourners
who had slipped out through the back. They must have
figured that, now, a bereaved must loathe goodbyes.

Nurain Oladeji lives in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria. His works have appeared in Dunes Review, The Chaffin Journal and elsewhere