AFTER THE WAR BY ESSAH COZETT

After all this time, I have nothing


but empty barrels to bring you. 


For years, I watched my Grandma 


pack brown cylinders to bronze rims 






always thinking of her children back home. 


I never knew when I would visit 


the block factory on Sinkor 


or swim at Robertsport.






Sitting in my closet, I would bend 


my body to see how I could survive the ship,


sailing from Snellville to somewhere 


I only saw in my dreams. 






My uncle said after the war, 


they arrived in Sierra Leone by sea. 


I never learned your love languages.


I never learned your history. 






All I knew was that my Grandma's brother 


was assassinated in the coup 


and I was born in a small city in Georgia. 


Now her body is buried besides her brothers in Bensonville, 








maybe this is why after all this time


I carry containers collecting rubble and ruins.