Dots of Lineage Lines

Unoma Azuah


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The night is a long gulp
it does not quench a thirst
but it lingers
dripping down
a place where panic
sets up shop

I am in a market of minds
plying wares
of eggs
cracked open
and bleeding white

in a polar plain
I am trapped in warm rooms
as the polar beast
ravages the city with swords of icicles

ice is clawing at my window

its finger nails jab
with needle points

I am buried in battles
with a cracked skull
a ligament of tissue
holds the two halves together

as a triple person
I live in triple exiles
In a sphere of trinity
my bloodline

My father is a Nigerian

My mother’s roots are in Biafra
that land where the sun
fled at the foot of the Niger

Then, I am a eunuch
breathing with breeders
The night is a gulp
of yawns

lumps of bodies
seduce sleep

At a place where my mind is a spring
in and out of spaces
flooded with madness:
a pile of shit abuzz with flies

the dry stench of faeces

there is a symphony in my head:
the buzz, the stench and the sin

a pillar of sin
slams down my weight
it bends me over like a prostitute in service
its hoarse hands
speak in guttural voices

these voices have teeth
with soft bites
they yank at my nipples

pain becomes the pill I have to swallow
to numb
this pleasure that sits between my thigh

the night is a gulp of sorts
city lights serve drinks
with glasses that click beyond
a dinner date

footsteps conspire with
beds and baths
room service
for transactions on flesh and flavours

what I take in
escapes in gasps
moans and sighs
they float like bubbles in the air

I gulp the night like a juice
kicking my shoes to the curb
as I arrive at my destination:

this table where I negotiate
the cost of my body parts
my core curves
for deals sealed with darting eyes and nods

I don’t bargain with the night
its price bears supermarket tags

next I’ll shed the costume I wear
to conceal the scars panting for breath

I’ll set them free
as I unleash the demons
that have held me bound

I’ll embrace the night with the speed of a car wreck
and watch metal and mud merge

the shriek of by-standers
reach their end before they leave their mouths
their faces wear a wide mouth

it is the large holes in their mouths
the jaws that dangle like pendulums
that distracts me

I am the girl-child that was raised by the hard hands of the world
I know the pictures of rot
though drops of rain have blurred their margins
I have acquired the skill to douse them in a sea of scents.

my scabs are powered enough to crease in rehearsed smiles
I don’t fear dagger points
I fear the unsteady hands that wield them

The dots of my blood line have shielded shame
and buried it like treasures in a dungeon
but I’ll shred this veil that keeps me from the sun

It starts with this buzz
to set the night aflame

Let’s sit around this fireplace
stoking the flames to keep us warm
these fires of our cremation

It starts with this buzz
Let’s light up the night with gallons of promiscuous gases
and watch it devour this civilisation like a polar beast
hauling blizzard balls
across these polar plains

Let it freeze this flesh of fire
until we re-negotiate our terms

signed with the dotted line of my lineage…

Unoma Azuah

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.