If You Would Hear Me

Grief is the last drop of blood
from the mouth of a stranger
in the arms of history

It doesn’t matter what river
moves when the asylum is stroke

The revenge that comes
with the slicing of onions

The shame of a tongue with
a log of wood & swollen anchor

The thirst, the jinx of a defiled land,
of the salty water in the trachea
of a dying warrior

The bruises that survived when the
faces of children were raised to the sun
to forget the home they ever lived in

the language they ever spoke,
the smell they never kissed

If you would hear me, Ánì,
the birds will never know shame

my tongue will be on re-communion
with its father’s hut
& will be a land free of dystopia & war

Nwaoha Chibuzor Anthony is a Nigerian poet who lives in Orlu, a sleepy city in the southeastern part of Nigeria. His works have appeared in Praxis Magazine, Kalahari Review, AfricanWriter.com, Art Lounge, Nantygreens and elsewhere.

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