Divine Hours

Kwame Opoku-Duku

That morning the thunder struck while

the city slept—so loudly, millions of us woke up

together, as if by spell or magic—the fog was so thick,

I couldn’t see anything outside my window;

there were only the sounds of the pigeons and sparrows chirping,

their wings desperately flapping in unison,

and, Beloved, it was glorious! I meant

to tell you, later that evening, as we sat on a bench

in that tulip garden in the Village, that years ago

I met a prophet on the corner of 125th and Lenox. Beloved,

when he spoke to me, there were chills all over my body.

I wanted you to know that it was never about belief for me—

only, always about the feeling—the knowing—of what is holy.

That morning, I had woken from a dream. We had fled to Brazil

to search for heaven. I told you I loved you,

but I should have called you Nyamekye—God’s Gift.

The tulips were in full bloom. We drank Ethiopian honey wine.

Do you remember, even the highway medians were lined with daffodils?

The plastic flaps of the warehouse shimmered like curtains laced with silver.

The dandelions exploded out of the grass like bombs!

Kwame Opoku-Duku is a writer whose poetry and fiction have appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, Poetry, BOMB, The Kenyon Review, and other publications. He lives in New York City, where he is an educator.
Originally published:
February 22, 2023


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