here i lie, shut in.
an ungainly sprawling creature,
foggy-eyed, feeling myself leave myself
through a cut on my wrist; a crimson waterfall.
cuts are how i say, “i am tired.”
tears are how i say, “it hurts.”
there is no one here but air.
once, i lent my jaws to the people in
the streets. they returned it, singing the
psalms of a hangman.
how do you love a country and hate its people?
in my dreams, like enjambments, i run
over words ‘they say’ qualify a boy who eats
cucumbers between the thighs of his fellow
man homo. fag. gay. me.
in my mouth are eggs; ovally-shaped rainbows.
take them to Gomorrah, no one is there, too,
that they may hatch into shiny remnants of me.
home is a place with memories.
leave my eggs here and watch them morph into
I. desires twisted into a wreath.
II. pain. more pain.
III. a news headline of a lonely boy who
knew how to hide his scars and look like
a loved child.
Bryan Joe Okwesili
is a queer chocolate-loving realist. A poet and storyteller keen on telling diverse African queer stories, he writes from Anambra, Nigeria. Pushcart nominee, 2020, first runner up Defenestration Short Story Prize 2020, his art have appeared on SmokeLong Quarterly (issue 69), Shift Mag, The Shallow Tales Review, Brittle paper, Writers Space Africa, Lunaris, Expound, Kalahari review, African writers, ARTmosterrific and elsewhere. He is currently a student of Law at the University of Calabar, Calabar. You can follow him on Twitter: @meet_bryan.
Cover photo credit: Doyin Deji