a contrition to sanity lost
to drown a demon is to pour yourself
into a glass of vodka, & finger john legend’s
“all of me” instrumentals on a piano.
it is to fold your body into rolls of
marijuana & burn silently, like incense in
the palm of hot coal. but on the streets
of this poem, my demons wear life jackets—
they only get drunk when i make a waterfall
of whisky in my body.
11pm. the bar is an empty chessboard, &
i am alone, wrestling green bottles
over my sanity. i see a preacher
in the bartender’s eyes— his lips, a broken
faucet, leaking sermons & scripture
verses. i want to say my body is a wardrobe of
assorted demons feeding on the flesh
of my sanity, to say i gamble my sanity
for two pills & a therapy.
& when the priest lays hands on me &
breaks into languages, i swear,
they were just hands— not a museum
of flames walking the streets of my body
in search of a demon to burn.
there’s nothing left of me, only a
raven with cleft beak seeking healing in
and love is a specie of madness
that is to say, love sleeps // in my head like
brain tumor // to sup on my sanity.
tonight, i am writing a eulogy of seven lines
to my lover. my body is elastic enough
to hold breath like a trophy, to say
my lover /embroiders a hymn on her rusty
plants music in my bones.
& love is a mental illness
seeking a healing balm / in my marrow.
when a body perforates itself // into a sieve
unable to hold in affection, it learns a new hunger/
look, my jaw is heavy of carrying
paradoxes between / sharpened teeth. i have
learned the language of // a boy
searching the drawers of his chest
for a love potion,
of a boy chewing his grief / like sour grapes. &
true love happens when a boy
lays down his life on the arms of a noose.
or a child// making a valley in his wrist in
search of the river that drowned his mother’s
a student of the University of Nigeria, Ikwo Ebonyi State, is a 2x award winning poet, a prolific storyteller, and a freelancer. He sees creative writing beyond the corridor of being a mare hobby, but as a career to be embraced. His works have been published and widely read in several magazines including The African Writers Review, Zenpens, amongst others. Instagram handle: @literati22.