my death speaks a thousand languages;
nights.tongues we know by too many nights.encounters.
someday, they find the body in the trench,
by the corner store—where my fav deodorant sells for a cheap price—
or the hospital’s front lawn; or far away from where language holds in my diaphragm;
or below the creek’s womb; or in the still luxuriant woods, for speaking.
nonetheless, it will be found
nights.decaying and prospering the air with love.
here, we speak in signs and megaphones.
nights.my native tongue submerges
nights.in water willingly. have I saved us by escaping
the pistol’s spittle and chains and the captain’s ship?
nights.we die fresh and bent over in this country.
nights.fresh and bent over, we die in this country.
this country erring to claim us as its own.
home is the whale’s wooden teeth.
nights.slam! there’s death behind the firm teeth,
nights.& we are fat from quietness.
again & again, my hands clutch the gate
nights.will my speaking counts as Salau
nights.in six years?
will I matter without names
or skipped and omitted like absence?
nights.simply, I’m scared of dying, the white kid,
nights.next door, blossom in a hoodie.
at the front door, in my hoodie, one she gave to my body in nineteen,
I get shot five times for crossing the street;
for sharing a body with the man in the cell.
By Onyedikachi Chinedu
Onyedikachi Chinedu is a queerish poet living in Nigeria.