Utility

Onye na’aga ahia

I am the shiny red apple,

That catches your eye from two stands away.

The perfect one that makes your mouth water,

And sparks the hunger for the crunch between your teeth,

And sweetness on your tongue.

But I am the apple you set down in disappointment,

Because on the side you did not immediately see,

I am badly bruised.

Biko gwa’m,

Is apple that is bruised no longer sweet?

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Walks with the Moon

The grass practice podophilia with me,

As the tails of the fireflies fluctuate before my eyes.

My skin is made of pearls in the pale light

And my shadow dances nkwa umuagbogho against the ridges,

Defying my jean-clad modernity.

The wind whistles the call of a home I have not known,

Leading me beneath the eyes of my lover,

And her silver halo.

 

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Nature’s Children

 

We used to run with the wind

When we were young,

But now we have grown,

Our feet are too heavy.

The wind still remembers us,

But we no longer know how to play.

 

We used to dance in the rain,

When we were young,

But now we have grown

Our things must not get soaked.

The rain still remembers us,

But we no longer know how to play.

 

We used to laze in the sun,

When we were young,

But now we have grown,

Our schedules are too tight.

The sun still remembers us,

But we no longer know how to play.

 

We used to roll in the grass,

When we were young,

But now we have grown,

Our paths are made on concrete

The grass still remembers us

But we no longer know how to play.

 

We used to know the earth,

When we were children,

But now we have grown

Our cares are too many.

The earth still knows us,

But we have forgotten what we should know.

 

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Oku

This place where this building stands,
In my dream it is a mountain that is there
With a staircase carved into it
Leading me straight to mama.

Mama stands at the top of the stairs on the mountain.
She carries the sun on her shoulders,
and clouds dance around her head,
moving too fast for me to follow.

She beckons to me, urging me up.
Bia, Little Light, Bia. Oku na ere oku.”
I am hesitant at the bottom of the mountain,
“Mama I will burn everything o.”

It was mama that told me to hide,
“Cry me a lake, bleed me an ocean…”
She told me.
“The world must not suffer your wrath.”

I am unsure,
But she beckons me still.
Nwam, now is not the time to cover the light,
It is not the time to quell the fire.”

And so I go to her,
Mama in the sky above the mountain
I become a raging fire, skin and clothes melting from existence.
And I burn at the top of the mountain.

This place where this building stands,
In my dream it is a mountain that is there.
That is why I stand naked atop it, undaunted by the camera’s flash,
Bathing in the colors of mama’s rise.

 

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