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It is not for everybody: Poems by Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto


I do not want to know the patterns of forgetting
For my teacher would look me in the face
To trace bent names she painted already in my heart.
The things written in books she gives my class
Have turned me into fogs. In my sleep, the letters
Say that I am the 27th alphabet with no name; the numbers
Say that I cannot solve its equations or find x or find y.
There is verbal reasoning. There is quantitative reasoning.
Two spaces filled in the belly of my backpacks.
But the butterfly in my arm draws itself in landscapes.
And there I go and spread myself in canvasses of my paintings.


I am watching a bird being pulled by the wind,
It reminds of how words flew out of mother’s mouth…
I am sure you want to know more of this.
But you know that all things are not just told.
So I will tell another thing instead.
Something in this way:
A boy understands grief and names it with the
Parts of the body. Head is a canned bean of loneliness.
Legs are wheels of strange and muffled laughter.
Hand and stomach are paintings of unnamed memories.
And somewhere, not in his chest, is his heart full of broken love.

Poems © Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto
Image: Pixabay.com remixed

Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto
Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto
Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto (@ChinuaEzenwa) is from Owerri-Nkworji in Nkwerre, Imo state, Nigeria and a lover of literature. He has won the Mazariyya ANA Teen Poetry Prize of the Association of Nigerian Authors, 2009; Speak to the Heart, Inc. Poetry Competition, 2016. He became a runner-up in Etisalat Prize for Literature, Flash fiction, 2014 with I Saved My Marriage. Recently, he won the Castello di Duino Poesia Prize for an unpublished poem, 2018. And some of his works have appeared in Lunaris Review, AFREADA, Kalahari Review, Praxismagazine, The Rising Phoenix Review and Raffish Magazine.

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