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This is the ground I slithered from —
Idemili, pillar of seas, mighty water.
A serpent wraps around my village
It coils and it coils, taut.
And we hear the call,
Mother of our mothers,
Isi Iyi, a fountain.
Ọgbaaghara, an upheaval.
A wildness folds beneath my child’s head,
it turns and it layers, gently.
Nabata ya, bụọ ya abụ,
ọ bụ ndị ikwu gị bịa ịhụ nwa ha,
Welcome it, sing to it,
it is your kin come to see their child.
This is what my mother says.
This is how I killed a god,
I took of myself and hacked it to pieces.
My ancestors hang on my neck.
Ha konyere ha, enweghị ndụ, ajị anụ,
They dangle, lifeless, a pelt.
I have slain my mother,
and all her mothers,
and all my children,
and all their children.
Ị ga-asachapụ unyi, you must cleanse
Ị ga-emerịrị mmehie, you must atone.
I am a spirit in a market square coming unfettered.
M na-amalite n'ụkwụ gị,
I begin at your feet.
[Editor’s Note: Publication of this poem was made possible by a gift from Julia Rios during our annual Kickstarter.]