a halved face  anyway        a ruin

like a bloody mouth        unworthy

there’s something a broken mirror cannot see

once i looked at these scars  and found them too violent

to be lonely

i called them cities__ timbuktu    egypt without the crush of bricks

in the trance      a red wingless bug crawled up the stove      i snatched it

into a bowl of foamy water       just to find something

to save               he speaks into a crack

on the wall     hot bullets miss my ears

my father who is halfway gone    whose resurrection was ruined

by a crooked finger        i asked this of shame

be a stranger     stay out of the door

if there be bone or thorn    if there be gospels according to

salt     let it enter even the wound’s  hidden face

let the honeyed cotton   fall            let the wind break

just small enough to fill the mouth

let the ocean take without   confessing    debt to hunger

Chibụìhè Obi

Chibụìhè Obi is a queer poet and essayist from Nigeria. He is a 2018 Fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency; a winner of the Brittle Paper Award; and currently on the 2018 Gerald Kraak Award shortlist. His works have been published in HEArt Journal, Gnarled Oak, Bluepepper, Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review, Expound Magazine, 14: Queer Art, Mounting the Moon etc. His poetry chapbook, "a hallowed wound," is forthcoming from Damaged Goods Press. He is the co-founder and art editor of Kabaka Magazine.