I enter the space that contains the world outside
my house, devour air & find it less likely to harm me.
A fresh start is how I attempt to offset the globe of hurt
possessed, to overturn a pillar built in the name of grief.
What the pain is, I don’t know, but it heavies my mouth
& saddens the light in my eyes.
Each shirt I select for the day is a city to tour.
I confess I have been wearing just one city every day.
I speak with my mouth clogged with plenty languages
& it shows, a formed outline not to be missed.
There is the language of breathing, getting involved
relieves my heart of its one good purpose.
There is death, fumes that announce a bigger
cloud heavy with shadows that replace day with an ultimate dark.
The days in which I drown come clothed with a fabric
of distress I could never know without coercion.
An ocean of terrors seizes the first thing I bother
to save & God recalls my soul.
He slips an apology through the cracks of a slightly longer sigh.
I conscript my mind into a period of numbness, & end.


Absentia of Everything Colourful

I begin this poem with the solid remains of
a fire, decorate each line with the unbroken promise
of a catastrophe.
Charred flesh travel into the air, & distribute ashes
for the ground to swallow.
I like the way I burn, the way time eats the fruit of
immobility, a pleasure forbidden. Watery portions of
the fruit trickle down the corners of time’s lips, descend
into the earth & draw the world to a standstill.
Smoke crosses the bridge of my nose, establishes a
perimeter of clouds.
There is a call for water, no influential than a whimper.
God knows I do not deserve to kept from this punishing.
I roll out my tongue to invite rain, hope for things unseen
like a hourlong downpour. I dream of oceans when I
cannot afford a drop. It shows I am one of many hapless
creatures, universal outcasts.
I mistake sadness for a place to breathe in more life.
As I burn I remember the act of holding happiness is an
unmentionable struggle. I can not continue so I
bury the vessel of light underneath my feet.
Heaven watches me misuse my relationship with the body
& fends away the desire for my rescue
There is an undisguised firmness in the erasure of my name.
God covers my eyes, & everything else renounces depth.


Michael Akuchie is an emerging poet from Nigeria whose work has appeared in Sandy River Review, TERSE, Kissing Dynamite, 8poems and elsewhere. He studies English at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He is on Twitter as @Michael_Akuchie.