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