what the little girl meant to say when the long-haired journalist asked: where are you from?

hope wears a crown of loss,
jesus wept is an exodus,
a silhouette poem finding the
square root of sound in deflection,

memory is a cheat code;

bodies litter the streets like
decamped mango leaves—
compressed into a language
of bombs & guns,
learning to dodge bombs is
an early education,
children are named after ghosts;

laughter is a dish
often served cold,
the road ends in
a shark’s mouth,
dreams walk
into nightmares;

the world folds into
a blind spot

Othuke Umukoro is a poet & playwright. His demons have appeared in Brittle Paper, AfricanWriter.com, Ink In Thirds, Poetry Potion & elsewhere. His debut stage play Mortuary Encounters is forthcoming from Swift Publishers.

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