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i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: i cannot remember the dream.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: we who lived woke after the war.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: no one sleeps in a burning house.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: a child closes her eyes & her only country is her body.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: i mean to say i stayed up to live this long.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: we wanted just what every one else had.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: we thought the air was a country.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: we thought the trees were a country.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
i dreamed once. i dreamed once. i dreamed once.
this is the problem: we thought it was safe to surf light in water.
i did it once.
this is the problem:
every man will pay to death the price for his dream.

 

 

 

The last line is paraphrased from the song “Everything” by M.I Abaga



Anthony Okpunor is a Nigerian poet and artist. He was a finalist for the 2020 Palette Spotlight Poetry Award, and was longlisted for Palette Poetry’s 2020 Emerging Poet Prize. He was also a finalist in the poetry category of the 2021 Chestnut Review's Stubborn Writers Contest (the only Nigerian in that list), and is a semifinalist for the 2021 Adroit Journal Contest (poetry category). His works have appeared or are forthcoming on online platforms including The McNeese Review, Rattle, Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, and elsewhere.
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3 Oct 2022

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