there are places in
the body of a man
unbelievers should not be—
where a man plans his battles
where a man runs to and finds solace.
a cave hidden under your skin
where your mother
taught you how to burn incense to your Chi
with a mask painted red with her blood to avoid
your father’s rancid words.
she looks at you and says—
you wear it well
& how you are a reincarnation of her unlived life.
so you learn to walk the streets
& let people say they love the scars on your taut skin
say it is a pattern, a connection of roads through a lost city.
you one day break into tiny butterflies
& spread across the earth in search of unbelievers to
let them know you became something beautiful too.
Ebuka Prince Okoroafor is a 5th year Nigerian medical student. He writes poetry, fiction, and sparingly, nonfiction. His work has appeared in Praxis Magazine, Kalahari Review and African Writer. He was a winner of the 2017 Green Author Prize.