A lighter to your skin is cremation enough.
the next burn becomes arson.
stardust: coal-red with rage, charring the loose soil.
tomb, mud-breaking to a fine smithereen.
from the freshly bombed cave,
a skyline chases colors to my lips—
stifling the rainbow’s moment of lack.
I hunger in the accent of wildfire,
of a country’s name wading through gunshots:
the sound—a vowel in motion scolding heaven.
each winter licks a relative from our grip.
& with each dying summer, a storm uproots a rotten corpse
that blossoms in green pasture—town of my arrival:
Minnesota, with all its shiver.
all of my belonging splayed wide open beneath cruel hands,
smearing my innocence across the embassy.
time slackens as the hounds sniffs out my grievance.
when I lodge into an apartment
I lay down in mischief—deboning the blank pages of my
green card, till it wears out.
this coat of arm shaped like a teenage body.
the unbuttoned cadaver underbridge.
at the riverbank, a SWAT team exhumes a truckload of carcass.
here, body parts are tucked in the lips of earth
—cemented shut the way a jaw bites down on red meat.
won’t you pardon me when I say,
I lack the animal stink to attract relatives.
at midday, I awake fast-paced as a fang lifting from menace.
my fingerprints on the dying shape of a scarecrow: motionless & blood-ready.
my fur—all hair and nothing else.
in the wake of my exit, I wear white upon white to ghost my shadow into shudder,
surrender sawdust from my tongue. end with vanishing.
so, when I enter each lifetime—barefaced,
I merit a blindness,
ransack the welkins to claw a skyline.
Nnadi Samuel (he/him/his) holds a B.A in English & literature from the University of Benin. Author of ‘Nature knows a little about Slave Trade’ selected by Tate.N.Oquendo (Sundress Publication, 2023). A 3x Best of the Net, and 7x Pushcart Nominee. He tweets @Samuelsamba10.