Running: Poems by Nduka Echezonachukwu



Living in a room alone
is like hearing demons
saying my name in echoes,
inviting me to a dance
accompanied by no music.

One decade and a half
is an unwashed cotton
playing host to a gecko
and roaches unwilling
to look elsewhere.

Outside my window, there’s a siren
that has refused to go off;
a boy that has not stopped running
who knows all the policemen by their names
and wears his black skin like a mask.

He pays for sins he is yet to commit,
raises both hands to keep his life;
yet, he will not stop running.
I am in my room running too—
only that my legs are not moving.



A bloody strand of hair sits on her head
Like the twinge of a tale.
Many roads stretch their planes
Into distances in her mind begging to be travelled—
A forgone apology seeps out of her eyes as tears
And a dirge pours out of the precipice that rules the night.
She kisses me goodnight and the world’s drugs expire at gunpoint.
The world lies still in a theatre and no surgeon is in sight.



The woman in black says her life
is a bottle uncorked by force.
Her scarf is an almanac of obsequies
tied to forestall memories.
She is both blood and poison praying
for a democracy that feeds on human flesh.

Poems © Echezonachukwu Nduka

Written by
Nduka Echezonachukwu

Echezonachukwu Nduka is a poet, fiction writer, and pianist who was born in Nigeria and educated at the University of Nigeria and Kingston University London, England. Winner of the 2016 Korea-Nigeria Poetry Feast Prize, his works have been published in Saraba, Jalada, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, African Writer, Bombay Review, The New Black Magazine, Afridiaspora, Ake Review, and several other reputable magazines and anthologies of fiction and poetry. He has performed as a stage poet in Kingston University London, Anambra Book & Creativity Festival, Ake Arts & Book Festival, Goethe Institut Lagos, and has three poetry films to his credit. He currently lives and writes in Mays Landing, Hamilton Township, New Jersey.

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Written by Nduka Echezonachukwu


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