So Far a Journey

for five years now, i’ve been wearing the bodies of different strangers, i switch them often as though they’re diapers          you may not know how heavy the world is until it sits on your chest & everyone expects you to hawk it around for your survival.

i never called for war but each time i pick up a pen         to pipe down the clotted blood from my veins & empty the dark bile from my gut, a certain blood vessels rupture somewhere around my wrist; causing my fingers to twitch & thirst for the feast of blood.         

I do not know how to own a thing any more; say a body for myself & those dear to me          a night ago in my room, my heart swelled, i  flooded around my hound & drowned it; a proof that the world is a busy river

          & i’m a Golgotha.


Symmetrical Synonyms

A poem buries itself in your body like memories conquer the body of a man grieving his buff.You taste your loss and weariness. You could feel life puncturing every sentence that makes up your body into independent clauses with sturdy semicolons. You know the taste of survival: a salty tear laced underneath the eyelids of a boy shuffling himself into a man the society dictates for him. For 18 years now, you’ve borrowed energy with your body as collateral; that’s how you find resilience. The strength for survival wraps itself into your breath. And lolls.

It waits for this interlude to pass away. Grief curls you into slimy question mark thirsty for integration with another inverted question mark; a hustle to copy and paste the odds in your body in 3’s. That’s what boys do.

A boy and darkness are symmetrical synonyms. The former hides his ruptures as dark silhouettes in a dark background. The later gawks shadows.

Shrivelling into poems is the way most of us worship the act of survival. We must not drown. Not now.


Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan(he/him) is a keen writer from Ebonyi State, Nigeria. He is a penultimate medical student and a Forward Prize nominee who makes poems from everything he can’t stammer through speeches. He has works published or forthcoming at Shore Poetry, Journal Nine, Inverse Journal, The Lake, IS&T, Disquiet Art, Dreich Mag, B’K Mag and several other places. He can be reached out on Facebook @Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan, on Twitter @wordpottersull1.