Read time: 2 mins

Two Poems

by Akpa Arinzechukwu
26 November 2020


It is raining everyday in Douala // the temperature is peaking // today is not a good day to be beautiful // if you see the chrysanthemum before me // stop something dead is lying carelessly in the street again // there are so many embalming agents in the air I am crying over my mother’s staunched silence // I’m feeling it’s time to let go // my brother will always be dead // he cried so much we thought he’d reincarnate in the morning as a cat // shouldn’t I take you into the night // but then the heat won’t let us know which corpse is a minute late into the grave or which is yet to make peace // with its ghost // I mean it’s ten years & this world still can’t contain me (I am talking about failing to make this planet a lasting home) // it is 0000hrs before anything beautiful happens here again // we are all bereaved all accomplices in this murder we are the good drugs that kill we are this planet’s nightmare my brother’s unavenged ghost // listen round the block a black cat is birthing around a century-old furnace // fossils /all the carbon emissions that define us / the black soot we call fresh air in Port Harcourt // I mean it is Mid-winter in Westminster // a drive away from the memorial & a boy in his cardigan is harvesting the earth’s tears // our scorched feet are a testament // that whatever treasure we’ve lost in this life this planet has lost a million more & I am the reason why




Depending on where you are // we might all be dead before the sun crows

it could be winter in forevermore

the grasses could be all famished

Ibiza could be pills upon pills of feel good that never happens

The daffodils could be blooming // Mozart could be the gentleman in the streets /

Looking for his one penny in gutters // adjusting his rags as erosion sweeps emotions off his feet &

we could have been happier on this planet not parachutting into oblivion / not a hundred penny-wise fellows of the Old Town Factory Road // where the fires started first before moving into our homes.

It could be evening in forevermore depending on where you are // floodgates of depression taking a toll // on a loner who can’t find their way home //

outside where the boy plays a tune the blue sky darkens / the present tense is a verb of destruction as well as denial in the parliament / the sea empties itself / little boy’s arms struggle against the wave //

the parliament is hung

About the Author

Akpa Arinzechukwu

Akpa Arinzechukwu’s work interrogates queerness, displacement/loss and grief. They have appeared or will feature in Litro, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Sou’wester, Southampton Review, Kabaka, Brittle Paper, Burning House Press, 20.35 Africa Anthology, 2017 Best New African Poets Anthology, and elsewhere. They are both shortlisted and longlisted for FT/Bodley Head Prize for Essay Writing and Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction. They are the author of City Dwellers (Splash of Red Press).