Homesickness Downtown Lagoon
there are a thousand ways to know the
body in the shape of exile. &, the body out
there is subject to vulnerability. first, it
recedes, then sidles as if to be charged for
the number of bold gait crossing the city
golden mall like chicks against hovering kites.
touch me on the forehead, see from my
boyhood the residue of war. &, look at our
faces, there’s a smile fading into a cry.
laughter widening into impoverished yawns.
it’s the commonality to refugees fleeing for
safety. home exists in the heart of those
flipping the book chapters of nativity
because there’s this long a place pampers
you & reminds you a visitant, & declares you
unwanted. the way we see flowers across
the busy road, but, touch for a pluck is
auctioning your 10 pounds of flesh.
Onitsha knows the colour of a boy jostling
across the bridgehead. the more to reach
the family far Enugu IDP camp is to weave
words on the phone & throw them to the
wind without shoulder-rubbing ballet.
tell me, what aches more than metamor-
phorsing into a nomad strapping beds all
over untoward places as if survival depends
on the large mass of streets covered in the
cloudburst & sun tanning? now all we croon
like songbirds on the outskirt of the town
is; let the ember fade hot-less ashes as
evidence of placatory homecoming.
God, save the land’s rupture into rapture.
Nweke Benard Okechukwu (him/he) is a Nigerian poet from Ebonyi State. He’s an award winner for the 2022 Neptune Prime poetry prize. He’s an undergraduate in Mass Communication at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. His works have appeared and or are forthcoming in West Trade Review, Rogue Agent, Kalahari Review, 2022 Querencia Press LLC anthology, Threposs 2022 anthology, Mad Swirl, Enoquils, and elsewhere. He tweets @romeobenokechukwu.