I am doctored to resemble harm, to
attract the eye of a pistol. I am molding
my body into bricks. This is the only
way to bear witness to the bullet & live.
I am always prying into the national
anthem for a threshold, a room I can
enter & feel safe. My fear is bold &
pantagruelian. I am a witness of blood
& unjustness. There’s a wave in my eyes,
a storm in my veins. Is this how my
body nurses itself into prey? For trigger
-happy cops? For a system damned
to covetousness? As I write, there’s
a boy at the mouth of a river begging
to be swallowed whole, & given a seat
at the right hand of God. Is it not
irony enough to grope for life in the sky
only for death to offer you paradise? On
every election’s eve, we look up to heaven,
prise it open with tongues that cannot
be uttered, we lift up the wilting green of
our land & summon the waters upon it.
We declare —our men will not wither. &
our women will not harvest grief. & our
children will molt into new creatures chasing
dreams, chasing wonders. But, in the end,
our garden blossoms into a wilderness.
Chinedu Gospel is an emerging poet & a member of the Frontiers Collective. He stays at Ozubulu & studies at Awka, in Anambra, Nigeria. He plays chess when he’s not writing. & tweets @gonspoetry. He is a 2x Best of the Net nominee.