Hugo Jeudy – The certainty of your goodness

Last night a boat came in to Ramadi.
Blindfolded with rocks, I dreamt of my sisters.

There is a rash in this desert
a wind in your gaze.

Along the edge of your absence, the warm
forehead of a child had followed me.
It is always so cold in the staircase of our names.

Beloved, the word erases
the hand.
The snow beats the measure of our love
and it is a life which uncovers its shadow at last.

My throat knots up; and the pontoon forgets your hand,
but you lie down, and the dried blood of my bird
comes to huddle against your life.

Braid your tears to the fields that will not come
and whisper this blue star before kissing my wrist.

Your tears are in Ramadi.
How I would have liked to make a hem to your distress.
Your tears are in Ramadi.
I was so scared you would return.

‘The certainty of your goodness’ by Hugo Jeudy received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2021) judged by Rachel Long.

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