Poetry by Nnadi Samuel

For Boys lacking little things as Sleep

My mother asked how we would feed that day.

her lips poised into curse words that claws, 

stings & makes my old man rich in hardship.

this was how she knew motherhood– with an eye for mercy.

mercy, recent search for mercy-killing:

for one thousand ways to die in a dark room,

for how i lost my voice to scribbling,

for what i do when i’m not playing with poison,

& how i carry my silence around without being friends with ghosts,

& how i delay my meals to find no one else at the dinning.

familiar faces seeing through me,

the wars & depression polished on the forehead of a boy backing the world in prayers

made silent, like streets with churches wearing nose masks 

& pastors making sign language look like a recent pandemic.

even God knows how to keep silent when he is not turning water to wine.

my father tells me to be open.

each time he enters the room,

i lose my worth in between a poem.

my sister closes her eyes

thinking she needs a jovial brother, 

not this one who only has flair for ear piece,

& limericks with punchlines to keep him busy all night.

About the contributor

Nnadi Samuel is a graduate of English & literature from the University of Benin. His works have been previously published in Port Magazine, The Gordon Square Review, Artifact magazine, Inverse Journal, Canyon Voices, The Collidescope, Jams & Sand magazine, Journal Nine & elsewhere. He is a co-reader at U-Right Magazine.

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