By Ugochukwu Damian Okpara
Stress warning: The following contains material relating to mental health struggles and trauma in no particular order, which may be triggering to victims and survivors.
i know how violence is packaged like a souvenir in a man’s throat / i’ve seen its silhouette once or twice or maybe thrice around my father’s Adam’s apple / today / i wake to it in another man’s throat / still / the birds on my window squeak / as though to say / this pain isn’t entirely yours to mourn or even yours at all / true / in this picture / there’s a woman next door whose voice mirrors mine / i think i know how bruised a voice could be / but i have no idea how to make a ghost of it / in the next picture / there’s me / alone / save for the birds / still the violence dancing through the man’s throat waltzes through me / till i become a boy running from home again & again / in the re-imagination of self / let’s begin by saying / that my memory is a fog / & all my life / i’ve known men to leave water droplets behind it / even when i still cannot see my reflection / this is why i live in old wounds / & still running / desperately picking old pieces of myself from my father / brother / & sometimes the men who called me sissy / i want to believe that i am worth knowing / this is why i’m home to every pain i behold
For inquiries regarding publications email:
and we will respond to you within 48hrs.