That There is Life after this Body/Border

Pacella Chukwuma Eke

(Nigeria)


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there is  __a__ black sky hovering over my polity              

           [another]                                   [our]

& that is why  i     burn our hearts and  count                      

                      [we]                                [mop]

our brother’s          tears with ink           hoping/waiting  

      [country men]                                        [willing]

to escort its flames above the dark clouds                     

                    [fire]

praying  mother          into its flesh. last night           

             [a country]

i  saw          a bridge/god/future beckoning me  

   [mirrored]                                                  [us]

to cross this border/ body just like how father                                                             

                                                              [every dead man]

did, on the night patriotic bullets   escorted    his/their                                                     

                                                     [shattered]

forehead into the shadow. you see, this poem                          

is ____ a boy painting migration with another country’s skin. 

    [not]

the one i would   merge into  my    vessel 

                                           [their]

with legs and breath as cowries for bargain at the border 

of this country.                                                                           

            [hell]

Pacella Chukwuma Eke

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Pacella Chukwuma- Eke, NGP Xv, is a Nigerian poet and short story writer. She is the winner of the Cradle poetry contest, The Green We Left Behind Poetry Slam, Abuja Duet Slam, Splendors of Dawn Poetry Prize, two-time finalist for the BKPW contest, and Joint winner of the FOW Poetry Contest. She is the author of Love in its bliss and sins; runner up of the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Teen Authors(Poetry.) Some of her works have appeared or are forthcoming on Eunoia magazine, Strange Horizons, The Brittle paper, Rigorous magazine, Haven spec, and elsewhere. She is a member of The HillTop Creative Arts Foundation.

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