You know survival is a blue ribbon
tied to our bone walls
because we are made of rust,
stained cotton wool, febrile skin
and everything that looks like survival.
Time sprouts pubic hairs
and more flesh
and we march out in great numbers
across the borders
searching for what will heal us.
We swallow baked mud
and spoilt milk
and wait for anything to happen,
even death- for the messenger of hope
to bring us goldfields
or at least sunlight to surprise
our Cimmerian souls.
Yet the safest place
on earth keeps transforming
into a graveyard.
Stand at the edge, fall off.
Stand at the edge of the world, fly off.
Something must keep you alive.
Njoku Nonso is a Nigerian poet, essayist, writer of fiction, and medical student who lives and writes from Ojoto as a tribute to the spirit of Christopher Okigbo. His works have been featured or is forthcoming in The Shore, Animal Heart Press, Palette Poetry, Brittle Paper, Kissing Dynamite, Praxis and elsewhere. He’s currently working on his first poetry chapbook, and still loves dogs.