#LoveLiteratiContest – ‘Memoirs of a Shy Boy’ by Mandellah Josiah

Love Literati contest - shortlisted submission - elsieisy blog
Adriana, when I first saw you,
I had no words for your perfect dentition and demeanor.
I was told affection was a gift.
One that I wanted to toss into your orbs.
But when you're at a loss for words,
Awkward becomes the only wrapping sheet at your disposal.
I'd spill clumsy all over a letter that started and ended with
"Dear Adriana."
How does a boy say "Yours truly?"
To wear a decent lie or a wish with such certainty
Without chasing your aura back into the sanctum of light that bled you.

I was thirteen Adriana.
What right did you have to plunge into
the mind of a coy boy?
I spotted your aspects framed in a year book.
Weatherman predicted a heatwave that Wednesday
But there I sat; frozen.
What was a boy to say?
How does a painfully shy fellow vie for the girl he met two weeks ago
When more virile and magnetic boys blather, two classrooms away.
I tried admitting
That I was caught in a typhoon of
my emotions
But you sat all pretty on the other side of this confessional.
Your face buried in Achebe's 'things fall apart'
Made me cower and unsure
Covered in sweat ;
Fearing that my adrenaline filled torso would fall apart
like a Jericho or a chain of dominoes at the sound of your trumpeted "NO"
So I wrote you poems incognito
You always liked merging your lips with each line you read
While I silently watched you fall in love with my silhouette.
Adriana, I turned nineteen.
Old enough to drink as much gin as I please.
But I'm still intoxicated with your mien and the sight of your grin.
You didn't change much,
Because you are a novice at shedding off what makes you lovable.
Found you on a paseo
You were dressed in muumuu
Bathe in the marigold tribute the western sky paid you.
I spent a month cultivating my porcelain face just for you.
I grew a moustache hoping to look like some Jean Pierre
The movies told me that Love was born and bred in Paris
So If I use words like ' vous êtes belle',
Perhaps you'd take me seriously.
Perhaps you'd spot me on this battlefield of Loving
With firearms that have sworn to caress and keep you warm.
I'm a different kind of soldier;
Carrying hyacinths and not bullets in my bandolier.
I'd strike your heart but I'm of poor aim
And for a second time I watched you drift away.
Adriana, I'm turning twenty eight in a week.
Will the world ever know if I learned to brew
enough roars to scare and maul my sheepishness?
If I step out of a cemetery, wearing a black suit,
holding a rose,with a forlorn visage
It means I buried my affection for you
But no,
I stepped out of a cathedral, wearing a black suit,
with your white frame beside me, holding a bouquet of roses.
-And cameras caught you laughing.

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5 comments

  1. Wow! You sure have a wonderful mastery of your arrows, and you have a strong bow. Take a bow son!
    I love the way you crafted this piece with carefully placed words, painting an awesome image of a ‘coy boy’ or a ‘shy guy’ struggling to ‘shoot his shots’. Shoot son!

    Lovely piece, bro.

    1. This is beauuuuutiful!😘😘😘😘😘 Jayh, you surely know how to give life to words and create this beautiful imagery in the mind of readers. I really love your piece,it is sublime.💝💝

  2. This is to me an elaborate sonnet. I’ve called to form all the rules of a sonnet, and metaphorically, they answered in this livid poetic rendition: breaking free of numerical count. The 14 lines are right here in the cave of my imagination; each crashing into the other until the conclusion. Mandela, I think the coy boy reading this can relate. This is a sublime tapestry.

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