The Nigerian Nightmare

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.


Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

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