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In my sleep god says

that I do not wear my body well.

He knows I am running from it

just as home has been running from me.

There is a thing about the body and home that we sometimes forget.

It’s like constant in equations and formulae.

The last time I was asked where I come from,

my whole body trembled like a cracked glass about to shatter.

I was reminded of war and home in one sentence:

in that manner you see a closing fist, or

the kind of wound you do not know how to survive and heal.

Home is become where I do not know how to pronounce.

When I try to spell it, I find no syllables, no transcriptions.

Or try to pray it, I remember my childhood

when I played in my dreams instead as playgrounds

had turned into beds for grenades and shells and shrapnel.

Then blood gurgled down the corners, the streets and the rivers.

Perhaps, it’s why I carry palaces of memories with me, everywhere.

And people, they say, build palaces so they will never forget their past.

They say home is a truth stranger than fiction.

I do not want to believe. I do not want to believe.

When I wake up each morning, I search the

grounds to understand what a home really is,

as mine has denied me its meaning

and drags me by the heels off its stomach,

and says I cannot lick its wars.

Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto is from Owerri-Nkworji in Nkwerre, Imo state, Nigeria, and a lover of literature. Recently, he won the Castello di Duino Poesia Prize for an unpublished poem, 2018. And some of his works have appeared in Lunaris Review, AFREADA, Raffish Magazine, Kalahari Review, Praxismagazine, Bakwa Magazine, One, Ake Review, and Crannòg magazine. You can find him on Twitter @chinuaezenwa.
Current Issue
27 Nov 2023

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